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"0 Mother dear, 
Wilt thou forgive thy son one boding sigh ? 

Forgive, if round thy towers he walk in fear, 
And tell thy jewels o'er with jealous eye?" 






The following pages had been prepared, for the most 
part, for pubhcation, before it was known that the 
question of Ritual would be discussed in Convocation, 
or a Committee of the Lower House appointed, by the 
direction of the Upper House, to report upon it. 

But the suggestions here offered are of so general 
a character, that it seemed to the writer that they 
might, without impropriety, still be put forth, as a 
mere contribution, of a very humble character, to the 
general ventilation of the subject. 

It was the writer's liope, as expressed in the 
original announcement of the Pamphlet, that his 
Diocesan, the venerable Bishop of Exeter, would 
have been able to prefix, in an Introduction, his 
opinion on the leading points, whether of Ritual or 
Doctrine, involved in the present controversy. And, 
altliough that hope has been in part frustrated, he 
has still been privileged to embody, in an Appendix, 
his Lordship's deliberate judgment on some of the 
weightier matters of Eucharistic Doctrine and to 


receive an assurance of his warm interest in the 
subjects dwelt upon in these pages. 

The writer has to apologise for having occasionally 
referred the reader to a larger work of his own. He 
begs that this may be understood to be merely a 
guarantee, that detailed proof is forthcoming on 
points which could only be cursorily treated of in 
the present publication. 


RtTES. — ^Importance of them above Ritual — Serious departure of the 
English Church from primitive practice — Abeyance of Weekly Cele- 
bration — Proofs that Weekly Communion is part of the Divine 
Ordinance — Practical advantages of restoring it — Origin and history 
of the present unsound practice — Vigorous protest of the English 
Church against it — Diflficulties in the way of a reformation, how to be 
met — Recent Eucharistic excesses — Worship addressed to Clu-ist as 
enshrined in the Elements — Proof that this was not the primitive 
doctrine or practice — Recent origin of it among ourselves — iS' on- 
communicating attendance unknown to antiquity. 

Ritual. — Law of the English Church about it, how ascertainable — Vest- 
ments — An alternative recognised — The Vestment Rubric preserved — 
The Surplice permitted — Ritual advance at the present day — Choral 
Festivals — Church Decoration — History and rationale of the Eucha- 
ristic Vestments, and of the ordinary ones — Position of the Celebrant 
— Two lights on the Altar — Incense — The " Mixed Chalice " — The 
Crucifix — Minute ceremonial disallowed by the EngUsh Church — 
Suggestions as to the present controversy — Hopeful circumstances, and 
grounds of union. 

1, — Appendix A. Opinions of the Bishop of Exeter on certain points 
of Doctrine Page 98 

2. — Appendix B. Former judgment of the Bishop of Exeter on 
Vestments „ 100 

3. — Appendix C. On Saying and Singing, by the Rev. J. K Dykes. 




The position of affairs in the English Church, at the 
present moment, is such, as may well call forth from 
her children such counsel as their affection may- 
prompt, or their experience justify. And, whatever 
be the intrinsic value, if any, of the suggestions 
about to be offered here, the writer can at leiast 
testify that, though called forth by a particular con- 
juncture of circumstances, they are not the hasty or 
immature thoughts of the moment, but rather an 
outpouring of the anxious musing of years over 
the condition and prospects of a beloved and honoured 

It will be conjectured, from what has now been 
said, that the writer is not among the number of 
those who perceive, in the present condition of the 
English Church, or in her rate of improvement of 
late years, any grounds for satisfaction, much less for 
complacency or congratulation. On the contrary, 
he very humbly conceives — and his reasons for that 
opinion shall be given presently — that to the spiritual 

R 2 


eye, used to rest either on what the Church of God 
was intended to be, or on what once, for a few centuries, 
she was, there is, in her practical and real condition, 
one blot and defect of so radical a character, and 
which has eaten so extensively into her entire system, 
that until this is, at least in a very great measure, 
remedied, all else is little better than a palliative, 
and little else than an illusion. There is surely 
something deeply saddening in the spectacle (if it 
indeed be so) of a Church busying herself with 
"many things" — making much show of practical 
activity, of self-reparation, of improvement in ser- 
vices and ministries, of extension abroad, — ^when all 
the while the " one thing," namely, soundness and per- 
fectness in Apostolic faith and practice, h in any serious 
degree wanting to her. If, while she is manifesting 
a feverish anxiety about the more or less of Ritual, 
there is in her Rites (of which Ritual is but the 
outward clothing) that which demands repair and 
readjustment on an extensive scale ; then it is surely 
needful to press upon her, in the first instance, the 
redress of such essentials, before proceeding to speak 
of the accessories. 

And this is what the present writer, with all 
humility, undertakes to make good. He is indeed 
far from denying that, " by the good Hand of our 
God upon us," great things, of a certain kind, have 
been accomplished in our day. 

" Stately thy walls, and holy are the prayers 
That day and night before thine altar rise." 

Our churches have grown to be, for the most part, 


the perfection of earthly sauctuaries. Our services 
are nobler and heartier. Our church music is more 
worthy of the name. Better still than this, and 
more to the present purpose, our communicants have 
increased in numbers, our Communions in frequency. 
Our clergy, as a rule, are devoted, beyond the example 
of former times, to their duty, according to their 
conception of it. Schools are diligently cared for, 
and are fairly efficient ; foreign missions grow ; the 
home circle of charities is daily widened and ren- 
dered more effectual. And this is "progress," or 
" improvement," undoubtedly. And, were the Church 
a mere Machine, or a mere System, it would be per- 
fectly reasonable to point with satisfaction to such 
progress or improvement. But the Church is neither 
the one nor the other. She is a Divine Body. And 
what if, while some operations of that Body are being 
performed with a certain increase of vigour, her very 
constitution, as divinely organised by Grod Himself, 
is being suffered to fall into habitual and chronic 
unsoundness ? 

Surely, as it is the first duty of man to do right, 
and only his second to do good; — as health is the 
highest of bodily blessings, so that activity, apart 
from it, is but spurious and imperfect ; — so is it the 
Church's first duty to be sound — primum valere, — and 
only her second to be, if Grod enables her, active 
and prosperous. 

And the Church being, as I have said, a Divine 
Body — the Body of Christ — it is plain that the first 
condition of her soundness is full as well as vittil 
union with Christ through the appointed medium, 


the Sacraments. Upon this are absohitely suspended 
her existence in the first instance, and her preserva- 
tion and growth afterwards. What then, I would 
ask, can possibly be of more importance than that 
these sacred and wonderful ministries should be per- 
formed, in all respects, according to the Ordinance of 
Christ, such as he delivered it to the apostles ? 

And if it be asked, How are we to know what it 
was that Christ delivered to the apostles on this 
subject, seeing that Holy Scripture is confessedly 
brief and unsystematic in its teaching respecting it ? 
the answer manifestly is, By looking at the universal 
practice of the Church in the time of the apostles, 
and during the earliest ages after them. We know, 
with sufficient accuracy, what that practice was. 
Their customs as to the administration of Baptism 
are known to us ; their liturgies or Communion Ofiices 
are in our hands. And though diversities of practice, 
outside of certain limits, are found existing in those 
ages, within certain limits there is none. 

Now, among the points thus defined for us by 
universal early usage, is the ordained frequency of 
performance of both Sacraments. The frequency of 
administration of Baptism, viz. once only, was uni- 
versally received. This is confessed on all hands. 

And when we come to the Holy Eucharist, here, 
too, the degree of frequency, as a law and as a mini- 
mum, of celebration, is defined for us no less certainly. 
That this was, by universal consent and practice, 
iceekly, — namely, on every Lord's Day or Sunday — 
cannot be gainsaid. That it was on occasion ad- 
ministered more frequently still ; that in some 


churches it became, we will not define how early, 
even daily ; that, according to some, the apostles, at 
the very first, used it daily, — is beside the present 
question. The point before us is, that there was no 
Church throughout the world which failed, for the 
first three or four hundred years, to have everywhere 
a weekly celebration on the Sunday, and to expect the 
attendance of all Christians at that ordinance. Of 
this, I say, there is no doubt. The custom of apos- 
tolic days is perfectly clear from Acts xx. 7, and 
other passages. The testimony of Pliny, at the 
beginning of the second century, is that the first 
Christians met " on a stated day " for the Eucharist ; 
while Justin Martyr (an. 150) makes it certain that that 
day was Sunday. And the testimony of innumerable 
subsequent writers proves that the practice continued 
unbroken for three centuries. The Council of Elvira,* 
A.D. 305, first inflicted the penalty of suspension from 
church privileges on all who failed to be present for 
three successive Sundays ; and we know from our 
own Archbishop Theodore of Tarsus, a.d. 668, that in 
the East that riile was still adhered to, though in the 
West the penalty had ceased to be inflicted. 

Now the ground which I venture to take up, as 
absolutely irrefragable, is that it must needs be of 
most dangerous consequence to depart from the 
apostolic and post-apostolic eucharistic practice, in 
any of those things which were primitive and uni- 
versal, and, as such, we cannot doubt, essential 
features of the Ordinance. Thus, we rightly view 

* Can. 21. It is referred to by Hosius at the Council of 
Sardica, a.d. 347. 


with the utmost repugnance, and even sickness of 
heart, the practice of the Western Church in later 
ages in respect of the Elements ; viz. her refusing to 
the laity, and to all but the Celebrating himself, one 
half of the Holy Eucharist. We pity or marvel at 
the flimsy pretences by which the fearful and cruel 
decree, originating in the bestowal of exclusive privi- 
leges upon the higher clergy,* is attempted to be 
justified, and its effects to be explained away. The 
Western Church, we feel, must answer for that to 
God as she can. But what right have we, I would 
ask, to choose, among the essentials of the mysterious 
Ordinance, one which, as we conceive, we may 
dispense with, while we condemn others who select 
for themselves another ? And yet, what do we ? what 
is our practice? the practice so universally adopted 
throughout our Church, that the exceptions are few, 
and but of yesterday ; so that those who contend for 
and practise the contrary are deemed visionary and 
righteous over much ? Alas ! our practice may be 
stated in few and fatally condemnatory words. The 
number of clergy in England may be roundly stated 
at 20,000. Now, it was lately affirmed in a Church 
Review of high standing, that the number who 
celebrate the Holy Commiuiion weekly in England 
is 200 : that is to say, if this estimate be correct, 
that one in a hundred of our clergy conforms to the 
apostolic and Church law of the first centuries. 
This statement, it is true, proves to be somewhat 
of an exaggeration. But to what extent ? The real 

* See Mabillon, referred to in Introduction to vol. ii. of ' The 
Principles of Divine Service.'— P. 79, note z. 


number of cliurches where there is Holy Communion 
every Sunday is, by recent returns, about 430.* The 
number of churches in England is at least 12,000. 
That is to say, that there are in England at this 
moment more than eleven thousand parishes which, 
judged by the rule of the apostles, are false to their 
Lord's dying command in a particular from which 
He left no dispensation. It will be said, the Holy 
Eucharist is celebrated in these parishes from time to 
time, only less frequently/ than of old. But who has told 
us that we may safely celebrate it less frequently ? 
How can we possibly know but that such infrequency 
is direfully injurious ? Take the analogy of the 
human body, which ever serves to illustrate so well 
the nature of the Church's life. Take pulsation, take 
respiration, or even food. Is not the frequency of 
every one of these mysterious conditions of life as 
certainly fixed, as their necessity to life at all ? Let 
pulsation or respiration be suspended for a few 
minutes, or food for a few days, and what follows 
but death, or trance at the best ? And what know 
we, I ask, of the appointed intervals for the awful 
systole and diastole of the Church's heart — of the 
appointed times of her inbreathing and expiration of 
the afflatus of the Divine Spirit — of the laws regu- 
lating the frequency of her mysterious nourishment ? 
What know we, I say, of these things, but what we 
learn from the wondrous Twelve, who taught us all 
we know of the kingdom of God ? 

What may be the exact injury of such intermittent 

* See the * Churchman's Diary ' (Masters), coutaiuiiig a list of 
the daily Services and weekly Communions. 


celebration of the Divine Mysteries — of such scanty 
and self-chosen measures of obedience to the com- 
mands of Christ, — I pretend not by these analogies 
to decide. But surely it may well be that continuous 
and unbroken weekly Eucharist is as a ring of 
magic power, if I may use the comparison, binding 
in and rendering safe the Church's mysterious life ; 
and that any rupture in that continuity is awfully 
dangerous to her. 

Or if it be contended, as not unnaturally it may, 
that this particular circumstance of frequency^ and of 
iceekly recurrence may, notwithstanding the apostolic 
testimony to its importance, be subject to variation? 
then I would desire to put the matter from another 
point of view. One way of judging of the degree 
of importance to be attached by us to any given 
religious element or feature, is to observe what degree 
of divine care Almighty God has bestowed in incul- 
cating it upon the world. Thus, the Unity of God, 
and again the necessity of sacrifice to atone for sin, 
or procure admission to His favour, were attested 
throughout the whole pre-evangelic history by 
special training, imparted, in the one instance, to the 
Jews, in the other to all mankind. 

But each of these instances of training is even 
surpassed by that which God was pleased to impart 
respecting the mysterious Ordinance of the week. 
Creation, Redemption, Sanctification — the three great 
phenomena of man's religious history — were all 
visibly based upon the Week. About the Creation, 
and its septenary commemoration as a religious ordi- 
nance, there is no real doubt whatever. In the 


Jewish system the sabbath, or week, is the basis 
upon wliich the whole structure rests.* And when 
the awful mystery of Redemption itself was to be 
consummated, it was once more within the limits of 
a single week that the mighty drama was wrought 
out. From the early morning of Palm Sunday, 
when our Lord entered Jerusalem as the destined 
Lamb of God, Incarnate in order to suffering, to the 
early morning of Easter Day, when He rose from 
the dead, a measured week, rich in divine incident, 
ran out. Seven weeks, or a week of weeks, again 
elapses, and the Spirit is sent down from on high for 
the completion of the Church. All this indicates 
some deep mystery of blessedness as attaching to the 
seven-days period in the matter of man's relations 
to God. It cannot be alleged, indeed, as an absolute 
proof that the celebration of the Eucharist was also 
meant to be of weekly recurrence, — that such re- 
currence would be the proper and indefeasible law of 
its rightful administration. But it surely renders tbat 
conclusion highly probable. For what purpose else, 
we may ask, was all this training given ? Why was 
the Jewish nation, who were to be the first to receive 
the Gospel ordinances, and to transmit them to man- 
kind, carefully habituated to a seventh-day rendering 
up of themselves to God ? It was doubtless, as regards 
the general principle involved, because it is good 
that man should keep with God these " short reckon- 
ings," which " make long " and eternal " friends." 
But besides this, it was, as the ancient Jewish 

* See this admirably worked out in Dr. Moborly's Sermons on 
the Decalogne. 


services testify,* that they might keep in remem- 
brance two very wonderful weeks of divine operation 
on their behalf, the week of Creation, and the week 
of their own deliverance out of Egypt. What more 
likely than that a seventh-day observance was to be 
perpetuated still, only with reference to that anti- 
typical Redemption, which itself also was ordained to 
take place, as if for this very purpose, within the 
compass of a week ? 

In this point of view, the Christian Eucharist is 
the gathering up of the memories of that wonderful 
week, called of old the " Great Week," the " Week of 
Weeks." That such was its purpose might be 
gathered even from the accustomed Day, no doubt 
appointed by Christ Himself, for its celebration. This 
is not, as might perhaps have been expected, the 
Thursday, the day of the Institution ; not a day in 
the middle of the week, but at the close of one week 
and the beginning of another : that so it may look 
back on the marvels of the Great Week, ever renewed 
in memory, and with deepest thankfulness comme- 
morate them. The original time of celebration in 
apostolic days was at first, beyond all question, on the 
evening of the old Sabbath ; that is, according to 
the then reckoning, on the overnight commence- 
ment, or eve, of the Sunday, on which the whole 
mystery was consummated by the Resurrection. In 
the account of the celebration at Troas, we find it 
to have been, from particular causes, already past 
midnight when the celebration took place. By tlie 

* See this proved at large in * Principles of Divine Service,' 
vol. ii., pp.. 284, sqq. 


time of Pliny, in the first centur}^, it had passed on 
to the morning hour of Sunday, where it has con- 
tinued ever since. Surely it is manifest that, in 
the Divine Intention, the Church ought to pass 
week hy week, in solemn memory and mysterious 
sympathy, through the great series of redeeming 
events, and crown her contemplation of them by the 
great act of Oblation and Reception, which Christ 
himself ordained for high memorial of these events, 
and to convey the graces and powers flowing out of 
them. This is indeed to keep up a ^'•continual remem- 
brance of the Sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of 
the benefits which we receive thereby." A weekly 
Eucharist is really a continual Eucharist, because it 
makes our whole life to be nothing else than a living 
over again and again, with perpetual application to 
our own practice, of those events and memories which 
are the staple of the Ordinance. In this respect the 
Sunday celebration of the Eucharist, viewed as 
crowning the week, possesses a fitness, because a 
close following in the steps of Christ, in his Incarna- 
tion and Passion, his Death and Burial and Resur- 
rection, which no other day can lay claim to. This 
fitness, of course, reaches its height on Easter-Day, but 
is also realized in a very high degree on our 

" Easter Day in every week." 

Nor are there wanting more positive and distinct 
intimations of the Will of God in this matter, over 
and above the general presumptions which have been 
adduced hitherto. 

It is always a somewhat delicate task to gather from 


the provisions of the Old Law sure and certain con- 
clusions as to the destined ones of the New ; because 
some of the former were, as the event proved, to be 
entirely abrogated, or however absorbed, while others 
were to abide to the end, only with new powers. 
Thus, the multitude of slain sacrifices was to dis- 
appear, being absorbed and done away in the One 
Slain Sacrifice. But the bread and wine of the 
Elder Economy were to survive, with added powers, 
in the New. We cannot, therefore, assume with 
certainty that the seventh-day recurrence of any 
feast of the Old Law, however close its resem- 
blance to the Eucharist in other respects, en- 
forces of necessity a like seventh-day recurrence of 
the Christian Ordinance. But thus much may be 
observed, as a law pervading the transference of the 
old ways of service to the new system, that there was 
to be no going back, or falling short, in this point of 
frequency, but an equality at the lowest, and even 
some advance in that respect. Thus, the great Con- 
tinual Sacrifice of the Tabernacle and Temple, con- 
sisting in the renewal, morning and evening, of a 
lamb as a burnt offering, has passed on into the really 
continual, and not merely renewed, Offering and Pre- 
sentation in Heaven of the true Lamb once for all slain. 
The eucharistic or peace-offerings, again, personal 
or congregational, which bear so close an analogy to 
the Holy Eucharist, were only offered and partaken 
of, as an absolute rule, three times in the year, though 
they might be, and were, offered and eaten more 
frequently. So that the frequency of the Christian 
Eucharist, once a week as a minimum, was a clear 


advance upon this. — But there was yet one Ordinance, 
very closely resembling the Eucharist. This was 
the Shewbread. The materials of it were bread and 
wine ; it was offered and eaten as a memorial of the 
one continual sacrifice, and as a means of presenting 
before God the Church of that day, the twelve tribes 
of Israel. The analogy, therefore, is perfect ; es- 
pecially in that no part of the offering was consumed 
by fire, but the whole of that which was offered was 
also eaten, exactly as in the Eucharist. That this 
particular Ordinance was to survive, accordingly, with 
the least possible amount of transformation, in the 
Gospel economy, was foretold, apparently, by Mala- 
chi. For to this we may most safely refer his predic- 
tion, that " in every place incense should be offered, 
and a pure offering ;" the terms " pure offering," 
and " incense," being especially applied to this rite ; 
and the subject treated of being the negligence 
of the priests, to whom this ordinance was confined. 
How often, then, was this offering presented and 
partaken of? weekly — ^neither more nor less ; 
namely, on the Sabbath morning ; it having been 
placed on the Table of Shewbread the Sabbath before, 
and being now consecrated, or offered, by burning, 
upon the altar of incense, the frankincense which had 
been placed on the top of the loaves for that purpose. 
This " Weekly Celebration and Communion," then, 
as it may rightly be called, certifies to us, on the 
principle above laid down, that the Christian Eucha- 
rist, its very counterpart or continuation, was to be 
weekly as a minimum. The same analogy would 
suggest, what we know to have been the case from 


very early times, that the Christian rite was not, like 
the Jewish, to be limited to a weekly performance. 
In this respect, as well as in the extension of the 
rite to all Christians, now become " Priests unto Grod," 
the type was to rise, on occasion at least, above the 
antitype; even to the degree, at high seasons, or 
under special circumstances, of a daily celebration. 
And the fact that the bread and wine offered on each 
Sabbath had already lain there a week, gives much 
countenance to the view advocated above, that the 
Christian rite is, on the Lord's Day, retrospective, 
inclusive of the memories of the preceding week. 
For the idea manifestly was that, in the twelve loaves, 
the twelve tribes lay in a mystery all the week long, 
with all their actions, before the Divine Majesty. 

But we may, with much probability, go one step 
further, and say that Our Lord himself, in the very 
words of the Institution, gave no obscure intimation 
that the law of recurrence of the Ordinance was to be 
that which is here contended for. Among those 
words there is one, though but one, which bears 
upon the question of frequency. It is, " Do this, as 
oft as ye drink, for My memorial " {oaaKi^ av -nivt^re). 
What is the allusion here ? Had the Jews any 
custom at that time of " drinking " wine in solemn 
religious " memorial " of national mercies ; for which 
this greater " Memorial," of world-wide meaning, was 
henceforth to be substituted ? and if so, how often did 
that rite recur, and what law would thus be suggested 
or prescribed for the New " Memorial" ? 

Now, that they had such a rite* at that time, is 

* See ' Principles of Divine Service,' vol. ii., pp. 284-298. 


rendered infinitely probable by the fact that they 
have such a one at this day ; and of such a structure, 
and involving such reference to the ancient system of 
sacrifice, as if actually going on, that it is incon- 
ceivable but that it must have existed before the 
destruction of the temple, and abolition of the law. 
It consisted of offering and consecrating, at the 
Synagogue Service, on the eve of every Sabbath, a cup 
of wine, which was then drunk of, first by the 
consecrator, and then by the orphan children there 
present : — a touching rite, signifying (as appears by 
the prayers accompanying it) the fatherless con- 
dition of the nation when in Egypt, and God's 
mercy in bringing them out of it, to drink of the 
fruit of the vine in their own land. There were also 
prayers for the acceptance of the great continual 
sacrifice of the nation, then lying on the altar in the 
temple ; for peace ; for grace to keep the command- 
ments. In all respects, therefore, this rite bore a very 
close resemblance, in its own sphere, to that which 
our Lord was instituting : He, too, having offered 
a cup of wine, presenting thereby the Sacrifice of 
His Blood, and enjoined that it should be then and 
ever after drunk of in thankful memorial and all- 
powerful pleading of that sacrificial deliverance. 
And there was yet another Sabbath-eve rite, nearly 
akin to this one, only that it was a domestic rite, and 
performed at supper, and with bread as well as wine ; 
features which, of course, assimilated this latter 
form of the rite still more closely to what our Lord 
was doing. 

Let it be supposed then, — and it seems to be 



incontestable, if the existence of the rites at that 
time may be safely assumed, — that to these rites our 
Lord alluded, both generally in the whole Institution 
(though of course he referred to many other and 
greater rites too), and specially in the words — " As 
oft as ye drink." AVe then have from Himself a 
plain intimation as to the frequency of eucharistic 
celebration. Such an intimation would, apart from 
subsequent instructions during the Forty Days, 
account for the " First day of the week " being men- 
tioned for celebration, as if a fixed habit^ in the Acts 
of the Apostles. 

These things considered then ; — the deep mystery 
for good attaching, from the very Creation downwards, 
to the seventh-day recurrence of religious ordinances ; 
the special fitness of such a law of recurrence in the 
case of the Holy Eucharist, because it is the summing 
up of a Divine Week's Work of Redemption and 
Salvation ; the sharply defined presignification, by 
means of the Law and the Prophets, the shewbread 
and Malachi, of a seventh-day rite of universal obli- 
gation, and blessedness yet to come ; lastly, and chief 
of all, the brief but pregnant command of Our Lord 
Himself, gathered with the utmost probability from 
the very words of the Institution ; and all this, not 
left to our inference, but actually countersigned 
by the unvarying practice of the Church throughout 
the world for three hundred years : — all this con- 
sidered, I conceive that we have a very strong ground 
indeed for affirming the proper obligation of this law 
of recurrence, and for earnestly desiring that it might 
please the Great Head of the Church to put it into 


the mind of this branch of it to return, with all 
her heart, to the discharge of this most bounden 

I have preferred, in what has been said, to place 
this duty on the lofty ground of zeal for the integrity 
of the great Mystery of our religion, and of reve- 
rence for the commands of Christ, and the practice 
of His Apostles, rather than on the lower ones of 
expediency and advantage. And in this light I 
would earnestly desire that it may be primarily 
regarded. The only question for any branch of 
God's Church ought to be, What is commanded? 
What did God Almighty intend, and types foreshadow, 
and Christ enjoin^ and the Apostles practise ? 
Whatever that was, it must be right for us to aim at, 
and to strive for it with all our hearts. 

Yet I would not have it supposed but that there 
is every reason to hope for the largest measures of 
blessing, and of spiritual results, from a return to 
this practice. I will mention one very great scandal, 
the very canker and weakness of our whole parochial 
system, which has a fair likelihood of being removed 
by this means. Next to the infrequency of our 
Communions, the fewness of our communicants, — that 
is, in fact, of our bond fide members of the Church, — 
is our greatest and most inveterate evil. When this 
fewness is allowed its due significance, we must see 
and confess that the nominally Christian condition of 
this country is but an illusion and an untruth after 
all. Judged by our own Church's rule (which is 
the rule of Christ Himself), our communicants, and 
they only, are our people. The rest may call them- 

c 2 


selves what they will ; or we may for euphony call 
them " onr flocks," or God's people. But one thing 
is certain, that in those apostolic or early days to 
which we ever appeal, and rightly, as our standard, 
they would have been held to be reprobates, and no 
faithful members of Christ's body at all. Such 
then is our condition : — a miserable handful, even 
among those who are nominally members of the 
Church, having any claim to the title in reality. 
Now, how are these wanderers to be brought back ? 
these abortive or moribund Christians to be induced 
to accept the gift of life, through the indispensable 
Sacrament ? Surely, for the most part, even in the 
same way as converts are brought in, one by one, 
in heathen lands. Public ministrations, sermons, 
services, will not do it. It is a personal effort, a 
personal rendering up of self, that is needed ; and 
it is only by seizing and pressing, in private inter- 
course, the chance occasions of speech, the day of 
sorrow, or of conviction of sin, that we can induce 
men to make this effort. But, unhappily, when 
they are prepared to make it, in the vast majority 
of our parishes, the " Communion Sunday " is too 
often a far-off event : and before it arrives the 
favourable impression and disposition has passed 
away. While, on the other hand, the ever-ready 
rite secures the communicant. In saying this, I am 
not merely theorizing, but describing what I have 
found to be the case within my own experience ; 
and others, I doubt not, can bear the like testimony. 
Such results, indeed, may or may not follow in 
all cases ; but I cannot but think that even the 


possibility of them will be likely to induce many 
of my brethren in the ministry to try the effect, 
were it with this view only, of the restoration of 
Weekly Communion. 

I am well aware, indeed, of the difficulties which, 
in many cases, stand in the way of such a restoration, 
and on these I would venture to say a few words. 

In the first place, then, the state of things which 
prevails among us, and of which I have above 
ventured to speak in such strong language of de- 
precation, is one which we of this generation have 
not made, but inherited. It is not we, God be 
thanked, that have diminished, but rather, in almost 
all cases, increased, the frequency of our celebrations. 
The guilt of this evil custom is shared by the whole 
Church of fifteen hundred years past ; and therefore 
we must not be surprised if very great difficulties 
are found in correcting it. The history of the desue- 
tude, which we behold and deplore, is simply this. 
For nearly three centuries, scarcely any breach was 
made in the Church's Eucharistic practice. Not 
only was there imiversal weekly celebration, but 
universal weekly reception also ; with only such 
abatement, doubtless, as either discipline or un- 
avoidable hindrance entailed. But the ninth of the 
so-called Apostolic canons, belonging probably to 
the third century, speaks of some " who came in 
to hear the Scriptures, but did not remain for the 
prayer {i.e. the Communion service) and holy re- 
ception." All such were to be suspended from 
Communion, as " bringing disorder into the Church," 
i.e. apparently (with reference to 2 Thess. iii. 6), as 


" walking disorderly, and not after the tradition 
received from the Apostles." By about a.d, 305, 
the Council of Elvira, as cited above, orders suspen- 
sion after absence from the Church three successive 
Sundays: a curious indication of "monthly Com- 
munions" having been an early, as it continues to 
this day a favourite, form of declension from primitive 
practice. But by St. Chrysostom's time (c. 400) so 
rapidly had the evil increased, that he speaks of some 
who received but twice a year ; and even of there 
being on occasion none at all to communicate. But 
this seems to have been but local, since we find the 
Council of Antioch, a.d. 341, reiterating the Apostolic 
canon : and even three centuries later, the old rule of 
suspension for three absences was still in force in the 
East ; as Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Can- 
terbury in 668, testifies of the Greek Church, from 
which he came. But even in the East the decline 
was rapid. The Apostolical usage, confirmed by 
the ninth canon, was admitted to be binding ; 
but obedience to it was given up as hopeless. Nay, 
even the laxer rule of Elvira was stretched by 
Canonists,* so as to recognise attendance without 
reception as sufficient. In the West the habit was 
all along laxer still than in the East. At Rome, as 

* So Balsamon, in the twelfth century : " Though some desire 
by means of this Canon to oblige those who come to Church to 
receive the Sacraments against their will, yet we do not ; for 
we decide that the faithful are to stay to the end of the Divine 
Sacrifice ; but we do not force them to communicate." — See 
Scudamore, ' Communion of the Faithful,' p. 58. Yet later 
writers acknowledged the true meaning of the Canon, though 
they thus condemned the existing practice of the Church. — Ibid. 


Theodore tells us, no penalty was inflicted for failing 
to communicate for three Sundays ; but the more 
devout still received every Sunday and Saint' s-day 
in the time of St. Bede ; whereas in England, as St. 
Bede tells us, even the more religious laity did not 
presume to communicate — so utterly had the Apostolic 
idea of Communion perished — except at Christmas, 
Epiphany, and Easter. Some attempt was made in 
Spain and France* in the sixth century to revive the 
pure Apostolic rule. But meanwhile the Council of 
Agde, held in 506, discloses the actual state of things 
by prescribing, as the condition of Church membership, 
three receptions in the year — at Christmas, Easter, 
and Pentecost.f The recognition of this miserable 
pittance of grace, as sufficient for membership in 
Christ, was rapidly propagated through East and 
West ; and remains, unhappily, as the litera scripta 
of two out of the three great branches of the Church 
— the Eastern and the English — to this day. In 
the Roman Church, ever since the Fourth Lateran 
Council in 1214, but one reception a year is enjoined 
under penalty ; viz. at Easter. The English Church, 
however, never accepted the Lateran decree ; but 
by Canons of Salisbury (about 1270), and of 
Lambeth (1378), re-affirmed the thrice-a-year rule. 
By the time of the Reformation, however, as is 
evident from the rubric attached to the Commu- 
nion Office in Edward VI.'s First Book, reception 

• Council of Lugo, a.p. 572 ; of Ma9on, a.d. 585. 

•f" Sfficulares qui natalo Domini, pascha ot pentecosten non 
coramunicuvcrint, catLolici non crcdantur ncc inter catholicos 
habeantur." — Concil. Agatb., c. 18. 


once a year had become the recognised minimum in 
this country also. ISIeanwhile the miserable j^rac- 
tice grew up, as a result of the lack of communicants, 
of the priest celebrating a so-called " Communion," 
on occasion at least, alone. It is probable that in 
the earlier days, as e. g. of St. Chrysostom, there 
were always clergy to receive ; the " parochial " system 
of that time being to congregate several clergy at 
one cure. But in the ninth century, solitary celebra- 
tions existed extensively, and were forbidden,* in the 
West. Not, however, to much purpose. It soon 
became the rule, rather than the exception, for the 
priest to celebrate alone ; and thus it continued 
until the Reformation. The Council of Trent con- 
tented itself with feebly wishing things were other- 
wise ; and justified the abuse on the ground of 
vicarious celebration and spiritual communion. 

It was in her gallant and noble protest, single- 
handed, against this vast and desolating perversion 
of the Ordinance of Christ, that the English 
Church, far from her own desire, and only borne 
down by the accumulated abuse of ages, lapsed into 
that unhappy desuetude of the Weekly Celebration, 
which prevails so widely to this hour. In her First 
Revised Communion Office she provided that, in 
order " that the receiving of the Sacrament may be 
most agreeable to the Institution thereof, and to the 
usage of the Primitive Churchy some one, at the least, of 
that house in every parish, to whom it appertaineth 
to offer [at the Offertory] for the charges of the 
Communion, or some other whom they shall pro- 

* Council of Paris (829). 


vide, shall receive the Communion with the Priest."* 
It is added, that "on week-days he shall forbear to 
celebrate except he have some that will communicate with 
him.'' Another rubric provided, that " on Wednes- 
days and Fridays" (which had traditionallyf been 
the great week-days for celebration in this country), 
" though there might be none to communicate with 
the priest, yet on those days " (after the Litany 
ended) " he should put on a plain albe or surplice, 
with a cope, and say all things at the altar appointed 
to be said at the celebration, until after the 
Oifertory." And this rule was extended to " all other 
days," meaning apparently customary high holydays, 
occurring in the week, " whensoever the people were 
customably assembled to pray in the church, and 
none disposed to communicate with the priest." 

Thus was a solemn protest made, and not in act 
only, as in other parts of the Church, but by out- 
ward deed, against the unpardonable and fatal 
neglect of the people to avail themselves of the 
ordinance of Christ. On Sundays only (so the rubric 
seems to mean) a peculiar provision was made, so that 
there should, without fail, be attendants at the cele- 
bration. But on week-days, on which there was 
no such Divine obligation to celebrate, the Church 
would carry her protest still further. While vesting 
her ministers, as if ready, for their parts, for the 

* Rubric at the end of the Communion Service, 1549. 

■j" Thus, in the Sannii U«e, separate Ei>i«tles and Gospels arc 
provided for those days throngliout Advent, Epipliany, and 
Easter, till VV hitsuntide ; for ^Vednesdays only throup;hoiit 
the Trinity period. 


rite, she would refuse to volunteer a mode of celebra- 
tion, for which there was no precedent in the early 
and pure days of Christianity. 

Such appears to have been the intention of the 
First Book of Edward VI. The expedient of per- 
forming the Communion Service up to a certain 
point only, on Wednesdays and Fridays, was mani- 
festly adopted from the ancient Church of Alexandria, 
where, as Socrates has recorded, exactly this usage 
prevailed on those days. In the Second Book of 
Edward YI. (revised, be it remembered, in part by 
members of the same Committee of Divines as the 
First was, and professing the same doctrine),* the pro- 
vision for the compulsory attendance of each household 
in turn was laid aside, probably as being found im- 
practicable. And now at length the step was taken, 
to which sound principles of action had in reality 
pointed all along; and it was ordained that, if the 
people, appealed to as they had been, and would 
continue still to be, persisted on any given Sunday 
in excommunicating themselves, they should even be 
permitted to do so. The great unreality of a Com- 
munion, which was no Communion according to the 
Ordinance of Christ, should be done away. The 
minister should still be ready on all Sundays and 
holydays at the altar ; but it would be left, awfully 
left, for the people to say whether Christ's ordinance 
should have place, or whether its continuity should 
be violated, and its benefits so far forfeited. 

* See 'Principles of Divine Service,' Introd. to Part II., 
p. 123-129. Mr, Perry ('Lawful Cliurch Ornaments') arrives 
at the same conclusion. 


And who will deny that such a course was, though 
a choice of evils, the right one ? What had the other 
practice done, but lull the Church of God into a 
fatal satisfaction with a state of things as widely 
different from primitive Eucharist and primitive 
Christianity, as any one thing can well be from 
another? And if those other sad results have fol- 
lowed, which we behold before our eyes, let not the 
blame be laid on the age which has inherited, but 
on the ages which had accumulated and transmitted, 
such an inveterate habit of neglect to receive the 
Holy Communion. Be it remembered, too, that (as has 
been well pointed out of late) the period of the Great 
Rebellion caused an entire suspension of the Church's 
proper rites. " The Sacrament was laid aside, in 
those distracting times, in many parishes in the 
kingdom, for near twenty years." (Bishop Patrick.) 
" This solemn part of religion was almost quite for- 
gotten ; the Remembrance of Christ's Death was 
soon lost among Christians." (Archbishop Tillotson.) 
" The Sacrament was laid aside, in Cromwell's days, 
in most parishes in the nation. In many churches 
there was no speaking of the Sacrament for fifteen or 
sixteen years ; till it was feared the Lord's Supper 
would come to be ranked among those superstitious 
ceremonies that must be abolished." (Dr. Durell.) 
These testimonies considered, the real wonder would 
be if there had not been found very great difficulty 
in bringing back, at the time of the Restoration, the 
primitive habit of Weekly Celebration. And now 
that we have added two hundred years more of neglect, 
we have to face the mighty difficulty of awakening 


a whole nation, of clergy and laity alike, to a due 
sense of our very grievous departure from that 
Apostolic model, to which professedly we appeal as 
our standard of duty. 

And the task would seem to be hopeless, were it 
not, 1st, that a great and powerful movement tending 
to this result has already for many years been going 
forward ; and, 2nd, that there is reason for believing 
that vast numbers of the clergy are really anxious 
to restore the primitive practice, and are only held 
back by difficulties, either real or imagined. Of this 
latter fact it is in my power to speak with some 
confidence ; since I have been frequently urged, by no 
inconsiderable number of my brethren, to set forth, 
as I have now very imperfectly endeavoured to do, 
the grounds for such a restoration. 

What then, supposing the clergy to be really 
anxious for it, are the difficulties in the way ? The 
first and most obvious is that of finding a sufficient 
number of Communicants. This is to be overcome 
in a great measure by careful heed to that pregnant 
charge given to the clergy at their Ordination, " So 
to sanctify the lives of them and theirs, and io fashion 
them after the Rule and Doctiine of Christ, that they " 
(that is the clergy and their households) " may be 
godly examples and patterns for the people to 
follow." And again they are charged " to frame the 
manners of them that specially pertain to them'' These 
injunctions suggest, that in the families and depend- 
ences of the parochial clergy ought to be found 
a nucleus and centre of all Christian living. 
Frequent Communion, at the least — weekly, if pos- 


sible— should be the normal condition of the Clergy- 
man's household, and of all who are allowed any 
special part in, or connexion with, the Services of the 
Church. Care being taken of this, it may well be 
hoped that at least a gradual reform might be made : 
the stereotyped monthly Communions being ex- 
changed for a fortnightly, and finally for the full 
" orbed round " of Weekly Celebration. 

But there is also avis inertiw to be overcome, among 
the middle classes more especially, in the form of an 
objection to frequent Celebration at all. This, being 
founded in misapprehension, and a vague general 
distrust of the object of such changes, must be 
removed, in part by full and earnest setting forth of 
the grounds for them ; but still more by extending 
to those classes a fuller measure of education, in- 
cluding, as it cannot fail to do, a juster conception 
of the Church's duty and claims. 

Another difficulty is the increased amount of labour 
which a weekly Communion, if largely attended, as 
it ought to be, would entail upon the clergy. This 
may in part be compensated for by keeping the 
eucharistic sermon within more moderate limits. 
Even so, however, the service is to the full long 
and laborious for a priest single-handed ; while the 
great majority of benefices are unable to maintain 
a second clergyman, even in Deacon's Orders. And 
the true remedy for this, and for the kindred dif- 
ficulty of maintaining the Daily Service, would seem 
to lie in that revival of the Order of Subdeacons 
which has of late been so much urged, and which 
seems likely to be countenanced by our ecclesiastical 


authorities.* The duties of a Sulxleacon mij^ht, it 
is thought, include the reading of the daily Office 
(excepting, of course, the Absolution), of the Epistle, 
and some other subordinate portions of the Com- 
munion Service. And it may be worth considering 
(though I offer the suggestion with much diffidence), 
seeing that the Diaconate, as used among us, trenches 
so largely upon the duties of old assigned to the 
priest (such as preaching), whether it would not be 
proportionate that theSubdeacon should be advanced, 
in some cases, to a restrained Diaconate, and ad- 
minister the Cup also. Such a provision would 
diminish by one-half the time and labour of admi- 

On the whole, I cannot but hope that, if our 
Right Reverend Fathers in God, the Bishops, should 
think fit to press upon their clergy, as they upon 
their flocks, the duty of Weekly Celebration as alone 
fulfilling the commandment of Christ, a great deal 
might be done towards rolling away this heavy 
reproach from us. 

And let it be borne in mind, as an encouragement, 
that this is the only point absolutely wanting to 
complete our agreement, in every particular, with 
the apostolic practice. Such of our churches as 
have already, week by week, a fairly attended 
Celebration, to which all the faithful are heartily 
invited and urged to come, — such churches exhibit 

* See ' The Eevival of the Subdiaconate,' a pamphlet ; and the 
Suggestions of the Archdeacon of London, put forth in his Charge 
of 1850, and lately revised at a meeting of his Clerg}' of his 
Archdeaconry, " not without the full knowledge and sanction of 
the Archbishops and of the Bishop of London." 


a spectacle of really Apostolical Encliaristic Service, 
such as the whole world beside cannot produce. 
Neither in East or West, but in the English Church 
only, is weekly Communion, as the bounden duty 
of all Christians, so much as dreamt of; so utterly 
has the apostolic model, throughout Christendom, 
faded from the memory of the Church of God. 

I turn now to another form of eucharistic error 
which has obtained some footing among us. In 
what has been said above, the mind and practice of 
the first ages have been appealed to as the absolute 
standard of eucharistic duty. And on this point we 
cannot, surely, be too solicitous, or too firm in 
resisting any departure from it. Such is, at any 
rate, the mind of the English Church. " Before 
all things we must be sure that this Sacrament be 
ministered in such wise as our Saviour did, and the 
good fathers in the primitive Church frequented it." 
The position amounts to this, — that whatever was 
then held to be true, and was acted upon, must be 
true, and ought to be act^d upon still. And the 
converse position is no less important, — that what- 
ever was demonstrably not held nor was acted upon 
then, cannot be true at all, and ought not to be 
acted upon now. 

But this position has now, for some few years 
past, been, in practice, abandoned by some who have 
interested themselves in the eucharistic condition 
of the English Church. Doctrines have been main- 
tained, and practices founded upon them, about 
which, whatever defence may be set up for them. 


thus much at least is certain, and can be proved to 
demonstration, that they find no recognition in the 
ritual of the primitive ages. 

I speak more especially of the tenet, that one 
purpose, and a very principal one to say the least, 
of the Holy Eucharist, is to provide the Church with 
an object of Divine Worship, actually etishrined in 
the Elements — namely, our Lord Jesus Christ; and 
that the Church ought accordingly to pay towards 
that supposed personal Presence of Christ on the 
altar, and towards the Elements as containing Him, 
that worship, which at other times she directs to 
Him as seated at the Right Hand of God. Such is 
the position laid down and acted upon. 

Now, it might be shewn that there are infinite 
objections to this tenet, and that it involves vast diffi- 
culties and perplexities. But the one answer which 
is instar omnium, and must be held to be absolutely 
decisive against it, is that it was evidently unhwivn 
to the mi7idy because unrecognised by the Ritual, 
of the first ages. The altar, we are told, is, for 
the time being, the Majestic Throne of Christ ; 
His Presence there (I cite the language of the 
upholders of this view) is of such a nature as to 
demand at our hands the same worship as we 
commonly pay to the Holy Trinity in Heaven. 
Now, if this be really so, it necessitates, as a matter 
of course, acts of Service, of Worship, of Prayer, 
of Invocation, addressed to Christ so present and 
so enthroned. Let, then, the upholders of it produce 
a single instance from the Ancient Communion offices 
of a prayer, or even an invocation, so addressed. 


It cannot be done. Or if there be found such an 
one lurking in some remote corner of a Liturgy, its 
manifest departure from the whole tone and bearing 
of the rest of the Office stamps it at once as late and 

And this is the leading consideration, — that the 
entire drift and structure of the Eucharistic Service is 
against such a view. Its keynote is '^ Sursum cor da'' 
This we are called upon to give up, and to turn our 
worship, and the direction of our hearts, to an object 
enshrined on earth. — But besides this, the Liturgies 
throughout speak of that which is consecrated, and 
lies upon the altar, as Things, and not as a person. 
But if it be indeed Christ Himself that lies there, is it 
reverent to speak of Him as " Things," " Ofterings," 
or even as '* Mysteries"? Yet what is the language 
of the ancient Liturgies, after the consecration ? 
" Bestow on us benefit from these Offerings " (Lit. 
S. Chrys.). "That we may become worthy par- 
takers of Thy holy Mysteries " (Syr. Lit. S. James). 
" Holy Things for holy persons :" or (as it is other- 
wise rendered) " The Holy Things to the Holy 
Places;" or in the Western uses, "Desire these 
Things (Jicec) to be carried up by the hands of Thy 
Holy Angel unto thy sublime altar, into the 
Presence of Thy Majesty." It is intelligible, that 
for the divine and mysterious Things, the Body and 
Blood of Christ, we should desire contact with the 
mysterious heavenly altar, on which " the Lamb that 
was slain " personally presents Himself ; but that we 
should desire this for Christ Himself would be 
incomprehensible, if not irreverent. 



And let these words of S. Chrysostom's Liturgy be 
especially pondered : " Hear us, Lord Jesus Christ, 
out of Thy Holy Dwelling-place, and from the 
Throne of the glory of Thy kingdom ; Thou that sittest 
above with the Father, and here art invisibly present 
with us : and by thy mighty Hand give us to partake 
of Thy spotless Body and Thy precious Blood." Is 
it not perfectly certain from hence, that, in the 
conception of antiquity. Our Blessed Lord was not 
lying personally upon the altar ? that, personally, He 
was, as regards His Majestic Presence, on His Throne 
in Heaven ? and as regards His Mysterious 
Presence on earth, it was to be sought, not in or 
under the Elements, but (according to the proper law 
of it) in and among the faithful, the Church of Grod 
there present? For He is invited to come, by an 
especial efflux or measure of that Presence, and to 
give the mysterious Things, His Body and Blood. 

The same conclusion follows from the language of 
the Fathers, taken in its full range. Let any one 
examine Dr. Pusey's exhaustive catena of passages 
from the Fathers, concerning the " Real Presence," 
and he will find that, for one instance in which That 
which is on the Altar is spoken of as if it were Christ 
Himself, it is called a hundred times by the title, 
" His Body and Blood." The latter is manifestly the 
exact truth; the former the warm and affectionate 
metonymy, which gives to the mysterious Parts, 
the Body and Blood, the titles due only properly to 
the Divine and Personal Whole. 

Vain then, and necessarily erroneous, because 
utterly devoid of countenance from the ancient 


Apostolic Rites, are the inferences by which this 
behef is supported. Though, indeed, the fallacy of 
the inferences themselves is sufficiently apparent. It 
is said that Christ's Body, wherever it is, and under 
whatsoever conditions existing, must demand and draw 
Divine Worship towards it. Is it so indeed ? Then 
why, I would ask, do we not pay Divine Worship to 
the Church ? for the Church certainly is " His Body, 
His Flesh, and His Bones." Nay, why do we not 
worship the individual communicant ? for he, cer- 
tainly, has received not only Christ's Body, but 
Christ's very Self, to dwell within him. The truth 
is, that inferences, in matters of this mysterious 
nature, are perfectly untrustworthy, unless supported 
and countersigned by apostolic practice. 

I am aware that this doctrine has been em- 
braced, of late years, by some of the most devout 
and eminent of our divines. But the history of 
their adoption of it is such, that we may allege 
themselves, in the exercise of their own earlier 
and unbiassed judgment, against their present 
opinions. The names of those divines are named 
with reverence and affection, and justly so, wher- 
ever the EijgHsh language is spoken. But the works, 
on which that estimate was first founded, upheld, 
explicitly or tacitly, the opposite of that to which 
they now lend the high sanction of their adhesion. 
A sermon, designed to set forth the full Catholic 
doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, brought upon one 
of them a sentence of suspension from preaching 
in the University pulpit at Oxford. But this full 
exposition of his eucharistic views is absolutely 



devoid of any claim for Divine Adoration as due to 
the Body and Blood of Christ, or to Christ Himself as 
present under the Eucharistic Elements. Again, in a 
well-known stanza of the ' Christian Year,' another 
honoured divine has said, — 

'• O come to our Communion Feast ; 
There present in the heart, 
N'ot in the hands, th' eternal Priest 
Will His true self impart." * 

And it is believed that the first appearance of this 
doctrine in modern days was in the case of 
Ditcher v. Denison, when it was inserted, as an 
afterthought, among the positions taken up by the 
defendant. It was through a chivalrous desire to 
uphold a cause, with the main aspects of which 
they naturally felt a deep sympathy, that the 
writers referred to were drawn into countenancing 
a doctrine, then new to their theology, but of the 
truth of which, on examination, they seem to have 
satisfied themselves. Surely we may believe that it 
is not without misgiving, that they have thus aban- 
doned the doctrines which they once taught us. 

* It is true that another part of the same exquisite volume 
speaks of — 

" The dear feast of Jesus dying, 
Upon that altar ever lying, 
"Where souls, with sacred hunger sighing, 
Axe called to sit and eat, while angels prostrate fall." 

But this is exactly an instance of the warm metonymy above 
spoken of, and cannot be pressed against the distinct disallow- 
ance, contained in the passage quoted in the text, of there being 
a personal Presence of Christ in the Elements. 


They cannot feel altogether satisfied thus to break 
with the Church of the First Ages in a matter so 
momentous as that of the Object of worship, and of 
the nature and purpose of the Holy Eucharist. 

Closely connected with this doctrine, is a practice 
not merely defended of late, but strongly urged as 
being of the very essence of exalted Eucharistic 
duty : — that of being present at the Eite without 
receiving; for the purpose, it is alleged, of adoring 
Christ as present under the Elements. But here 
again the Early Church furnishes a complete refuta- 
tion and thorough condemnation of the practice. 
In an exhaustive treatise,* it has been shown that 
she knew of no such practice ; that she made no 
account whatever of attendance on the rite apart 
from reception : rightly viewing it as a Sacrifice 
indeed, but a Sacrifice of that class or kind in which 
partaking was an essential and indispensable feature. 
And the English Church, it is almost unnecessary to 
add, though a faint endeavour has been made to 
disprove it, has given no more countenance than the 
Church of old to this practice. Contenting herself, 
at first, at the Reformation, with forbidding non- 
communicants to remain in the choir, she afterwards 
so effectually discouraged and disallowed their pre- 
sence at all, that it became unmeaning to retain the 
prohibition any longer. f 

And in truth it is, as might be expected, to the 
later and corrupt ages of the Church that we owe 

* Eev. W. Scudamore's ' Communion of the Faithful.' 
f This is fully proved by Scudamore, ' Communion of the 
Faithful,' pp. 107-120. 


both of these positions which it is now attempted to 
revive among us : viz. that in the language of the 
decrees of Trent,* " our Lord Jesus Christ, God and 
Man, is truly, really, and substantially contained in 
the Sacrament of the Eucharist," i. e. in the Elements, 
" and is to be adored " as contained therein : and 
again, that the faithful may* be present merely to 
adore, and may communicate spiritually,! though, as 
has been well said, " they purposely neglect the only 
mode of doing so ordained by Christ." 

The latter position — respecting non-communicat- 
ing attendance — has been lately discountenanced^ by 
one of those eminent divines who are generally 
claimed as sanctioning the entire system to which it 
belongs. And though the number of those among 
the clergy who have embraced these views is not 
inconsiderable, while their piety and devotedness are 
unquestionable, yet I cannot doubt that at least an 
equal number, in no way their inferiors in learning 
or devotion, deeply deplore these departures from the 
primitive faith. And it is not too much to hope, 
that, as the English Church has witnessed a school 
of postmediaeval or unsacramental divinity, which, 
notwithstanding its piety and earnestness, has ceased 
to exercise much influence among us, even so it 
may be with the mediaeval and ultra-sacramental 
school which has lately risen up. Defend their views 
how they will, what they are seeking to introduce 

♦ Council of Trent, Session 13, c. 1. See ' Principles of Divine 
Service,' Introd. to vol. ii., pp. 158-187. 
t Session 22, c. 6. 
X See Mr. Keble's letter in the ' Guardian,' Jan. 24, 1866. 


is a new culttis, aud a 7iew religion, as purely the 
device of the middle ages, as non-sacramentalism was 
the device of Calvin and Zwingle. -And the one 
doctrine as distinctly demands a new Prayer-book 
as the other does. What the English Church, on her 
very front, professes, is neither postmedisevalism nor 
medisevalism, but apostolicity. Since choose she must, 
(for the two are utterly irreconcilable) between 
symbolising with the mediaevalising Churches of the 
West, and symbolising with the Church of the first 
ages, she has taken her part, aud her deliberate mind 
is " Sit Anima Mea cum Apostolis." 

From Rites, I turn to Ritual, which claims at this 
moment the larger share of attention. 

How, then, are the Services of the English 
Church to be performed, so as to be in accord- 
ance with her mind and principles ? It will be 
answered, that the Services ought to be conducted 
according to " the Book of Common Prayer and 
Administration of the Sacraments, according to the 
use of the Church of England." * But this, though 
at first sight the true and sufficient answer, is 
not, in reality, either true or sufficient. The duty 
in question, that of conducting the Services of the 
Church, is laid upon particular persons : and it is 
by recurring to the exact terms of the obligation 
laid on those persons, when they are solemnly com- 
missioned to their office, that we must seek for an 
answer. Now the engagement exacted by the 
Bishop of candidates for the priesthood, at their 

* Preface conceniing the Service of the Church. 


Ordination, is, in exact terms, this : " Will you give 
your faithful diligence always so to minister the 
Doctrine and Sacraments, and the Discipline of 
Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and as this 
Church and Realm hath received the same ? " The 
italicised words contain the gist of the whole matter. 
By the interpretation we put upon them must our 
standard of Ritual be determined. 

What then " hath this Church and Realm received," 
at the present moment, in the matter of Ritual ? Not 
the Prayer-book standing absolutely, and alone, without 
any comment or addition whatsoever : but that Book, 
as interpreted and modified, in certain respects, 
by subsequent enactments, which have in various 
ways obtained, practically, the Church's recognition. 
The truth is, that this country has taken a cer- 
tain line, and the same line, in her ecclesiastical 
and in her civil polity. In civil matters. Magna 
Charta is the broad basis and general draught of 
her free constitution. But the particulars of that con- 
stitution have been from time to time regulated and 
modified, not by interlining the original document, 
but by separate statutes. And the Prayer-book, in 
like manner, is the ecclesiastical Magna Charta of the 
Church and Realm. For upwards of two centuries 
— since 1662 — it has received no authoritative in- 
terlineation whatever ; and but few and slight ones 
(subsequently to its first settlement in 1549-1559) 
for another century before that. The differences 
which are found at the present moment in any two 
copies of the Prayer-book are purely unauthorised. 
They are merely editions for convenience. The Sealed 


Book, settled in 1662 — that, and no other — is 
the English Prayer-book. For more than three 
centuries, then, we may say that a policy of non- 
interlineation, so to call it — that is, of leaving intact 
the original document — has been very markedly 
adhered to. Such alterations or modifications as have, 
practically, been made and accepted by the Church 
and Realm, have been effected by enactments external 
to the Prayer-book. Injunctions, canons, statutes, 
judicial decisions, have from time to time been 
allowed, nemine contradicente, to interpret or even 
contravene particular provisions of the Book. And, 
not least of all, custom itself has, in not a few 
particulars, acquired the force of law, and though 
not as yet engrossed in any legal document, has 
long been, in practice, part and parcel of our 
ecclesiastical polity. 

Instances in point are, — 1. Of an injunction prac- 
tically recognised as law, that of Queen Elizabeth, per- 
mitting the use of " a hymn or such like song," before 
or after, or in the course of Divine Service, whereas 
the Prayer-book recognises no such feature or element. 
It is on this injunction, and on that alone, that the 
practice, now universal, is based. Other instances, 
again, royal injunctions, constantly acted upon, 
are those by which the names of the sovereign and 
royal family, pro re natd, are inserted and altered ; a 
power given indeed, by implication, in the Prayer- 
book itself, because necessary by the nature of the 
case ; but nowhere expressly conceded, and a departure, 
speaking literally, from the Sealed Book. Such, 
again, is the use of prayers or thanksgivings enjoined 


on special occasions by royal authority. These it 
has so long been customary to accept and use, that 
no serious question is now made of their legality. 

2. An instance of a canon obtaining recognition 
by common consent, though irreconcilable with the 
rubric of the Prayer-book, is that of the 58th of 
1604, which orders any minister, when "ministering 
the sacraments," to wear a surplice ; whereas the 
rubric recognises for the Holy Communion far other 
" Ornaments of the Church, and of the ministers 

3. A case of statute law being allowed to sup- 
plement rubrical provision, by adding an alternative, 
is that which orders Banns of Marriage to be asked 
after the Second Lesson at Evening Service, if there 
be no Morning Service. Such too, as the Dean of 
Westminster lately pointed out in Convocation, was 
the Act of Toleration ; as is also the Act empowering 
bishops to require a second sermon on Sundays. 

4. Judicial decisions, once more, are from time to 
time unavoidable. By these a certain interpretation 
is put upon the rubrics of the Prayer-book ; and unless 
protested against, as sometimes they are, in some 
weighty and well-grounded manner, they are prac- 
tically embodied in the standing law of the Church. 

5. And lastly, apart from any legal prescrijDtion 
whatever, various usages and practices, especially 
in matters not expressly provided for in the Prayer- 
book, have obtained so generally, as to be a part 
of what may be called the " common law " of the 
Church, though liable to revision by the proper 
authority. Such is the alternate recitation, in Churches 


where it obtains, of the psalms, between the Minister 
and the people. Such too is, in reality, the use of 
any other mode of saying the Service than that 
of reciting it on a musical note ; for none other was 
intended by the Church, nor is recognised in the 
Prayer-book.* Such, once more, is the having any 
sermon beyond the rubrical one. 

On the whole, it cannot be gainsaid, that what " this 
Church and realm hath received," and what her 
Ministers, therefore, undertake to carry out in their 
ministrations, is not the Book of Common Prayer, 
pure and simple, hut that Book as their main guide and 
Magna Charta, yet interpreted and modified here and 
there, and in some few but not unimportant points, 
by provisions or considerations external to it. When, 
therefore, the candidate for Holy Orders, or for 
admission to a benefice, undertakes, by signing the 
Thirty-sixth Canon, that "he will use the form in 
the said Book prescribed in Public Prayer and 
Administration of the Sacraments, and none other y' 
it cannot be understood that the directions of that 
Book are, without note, comment, or addition, his 
guide in every particular. For he is about, if a 
candidate for Ordination, to promise solemnly before 
the Church that he will minister " as this Church 
and Realm hath received ;" a formula, as has been 
shown, of much wider range than the letter of the 
Prayer-book. And in like manner, if a candidate 
for a benefice, he has already, at his Ordination, 

* Seo, in proof of this, the admirable letter, which, by the kind 
permission of the Rev. T. H. Dyke, late Precentor of Durham, I 
have placed in the Appendix. 


made that larger undertaking, and cannot be under- 
stood to narrow it now hy subscribing to tbe Canon. 
And if it be asked, Why were the terms of the 
Thirty-sixth Canon made so stringent originally by 
the addition of the words " and none other ;" or why 
should these words be retained now ? the answer 
is, that originally, as a matter of historical fact, the 
Canon was directed against wilful depravers and 
evaders of the Book and its rules ; not against such 
interpretations, or even variations and additions, as 
had all along obtained on various grounds, and 
are in fact unavoidable by the nature of things. 
" No one," says the late Bishop Blomfield, " who 
reads the history of those times with attention can 
doubt that the object of the Legislature, who imposed 
ujDon the clergy a subscription to the above Decla- 
ration, was the substitution of the Book of Common 
Prayer" (subject, even then, to Injunctions, Canons, 
and customs already modifying it here and there) " for 
the Missal of the Koman Catholics, or the Directory of 
the Puritans." And the present retention of the 
wording of the Canon stands on the same grounds. 
It is necessary that a promise, and that of a stringent 
kind, should be exacted of the clergy of a Church, 
or licence would be unbounded. But on the other 
hand, it is perfectly intelligible, and has the advan- 
tage of practicability, that the words should be 
understood to speak of the Book as modified in tlie 
way in which it has all along, by universal consent, 
been held to be modified. If it be replied that this, 
too, opens a door to endless licence, I answer, No. 
The modifications are, for the most part, as definite 


as tlie document itself, and are in number few, 
though they cover, on occasion, a considerable range 
of actions. The Prayer-book, in short, is not unlike 
a monarch, nominally absolute, and for the most 
part really such ; but on whom a certain degree of 
pressure has from time to time been brought to bear, 
and may be brought to bear again. But its actual 
statiis is at any given time fairly ascertainable. It 
might be well, indeed, that all tliis occasional legisla- 
tion should be digested by the only proper authority, 
viz. the conjoint spiritualty and temporalty of the 
realm, into one harmonious and duly authorised 
whole. But for the time being the position of things 
is sufficiently intelligible. 

And now to apply this view of Prayer-book law, 
so to call it, to the matter which especially engages 
attention at this moment, — that of the manner of 
administering the Holy Communion ; and first to the 
vestments of the clergy. 

1. Now, if there be any one point in which the 
English Church is, what she has most untruly been 
asserted to be in other points, namely, broad and 
alternative in her provisions, it is this one of the 
ornaments or dress of her clergy. While, in the 
matter of doctrine. Heaven forfend that she should 
have two minds, and give her children their choice 
which they should embrace — seeing that so would 
she forfeit the name and being of a "Church" 
altogether ; — certain it is, that, from peculiar causes, 
she does, in this matter of officiating vestments, give, 
by her present and already ancient provisions, a 
choice and an alternative. With her eyes open, and 


at periods when she was most carefully scanning, 
for general adoption, those provisions, has she delibe- 
rately left on her statute-book (meaning thereby her 
entire range of rules), and admitted into her practical 
system, two diverse rules or practices. We may 
confine our attention for the moment to the period 
of the latest revision of the Prayer-book in 1662. 
On that occasion the Fifty-eighth Canon of 1603, — 
derived from certain " Advertisements " of Elizabeth, 
and probably supported by the universal custom of the 
realm, — was allowed to stand unaltered. This Canon 
provides, as has been above mentioned, that "Every 
minister, saying the public prayers, or ministering the 
sacraments, or other rites of the Church, shall wear 
a decent and comely surplice with sleeves ;" only 
with a special exception, recognised in another 
Canon, in the case of Cathedrals. And yet on the 
same occasion was retained the rubric of Elizabeth 
(1559), about " the ornaments of the Church, and 
of the ministers thereof," with only such variation 
as fully proves that it was not an oversight, but a 
deliberate perpetuation of the law concerning vest- 
ments more especially. For the previous form of it, 
— dating from 1603, and but slightly altered from 
that of Elizabeth, — was, that "the minister at the 
time of the Communion, and at aU other times in 
his ministrations, shall use such ornaments in the 
Church as were in use by authority of Parliament 
in the second year of the reign of King Edward YI., 
according to the Act of Parliament set in the 
beginning of this Book." But the altered form was, 
" Such ornaments of the Church, and of the ministers 


thereof, at all times of their ministrations, shall he 
retained, and he in tcse, as were in this Church of 
England in the second year," &c. ; omitting only the 
mention of the Act of Parliament. It will be 
observed, that in lieu of " ornaments of the Church," 
which might have seemed to be irrespective of 
vestments, was now substituted " ornaments of the 
Church, and of the ministers thereof." And again, 
compare the words " shall be retained, and be in use " 
(adopted, like the former ones, out of the very Act of 
Edward YI.), with the previous expression " shall 
use." They cannot be taken as expressing less than 
a real desire and earnest hope, on the part of our 
latest revisers, that the original Edwardian " orna- 
ments " might really be used ; that they should — 
gradually, perhaps, but really— supersede, in the case 
of the Communion Service, the prevalent surplice. 

If it be asked, how it came to pass that the 
surplice had superseded the proper eucharistic vest- 
ments prescribed by Elizabeth's rubric ? we can only 
answer, that the prevailing tendency during her 
reign was decidedly in favour of simpler ways in 
the matter of ritual ; and that, the Second Book of 
Edward YI. (1552), having dktmciiy forbidden those 
vestments by the words, "the minister at the time 
of the Communion, and at all other times of his 
ministration, shall use neither alh, vestment, nor cope, 
but, being a bishop, a rochet ; and being a priest 
or deacon, he shall have and wear a surplice only ;" 
it would be unlikely that the Elizabethan clergy 
would be anxious to incur the expense, and possible 
obloquy, of reintroducing the other vestments. 


Some, indeed, did, as appears by allusions to the 
vestments as in use in the beginning of Elizabeth's 
reign ; * but, as a general rule, their use was 
discouraged, and apparently put down. " For the 
disuse of these ornaments we may thank them that 
came from Greneva, and, in the beginning of Queen 
Elizabeth's reign, being set in places of government, 
suifered every negligent priest to do as he listed." 
(Bishop Overall.)! 

On the other hand, one form of the Edwardian 
" Ornaments " had survived, even through Elizabeth's 
reign ; viz. the cope (of course with the alb), for use 
in cathedrals. For so it is recognised in the 24th 
canon of 1603. "In all cathedrals and collegiate 
churches the Holy Communion shall be administered 
upon principal feast-days by the Bishop, the Dean, or 
a Canon or Prebendary, the principal minister \i. e. 
celebrant] using a decent cope."" This was in accord- 
ance, as far as it went, with the original rubric of 
Edward VI.'s First Book. "The priest that shall 
execute the holy ministry shall put upon him ... a 
vestment, or cope^'X But during the Elizabethan 
period two limitations had, practically, been intro- 
duced ; the cope, only, and not the vestment or chasuble, 
was used ; and that in cathedral churches only. 
However, the fact that to this extent the rubric of 
Edward VI. was still acted upon, might well encourage 

* See note M, p. 49, of Mr. Skinner's recent ' Plea for the 
thi-eatened Eitual of the Church of England.' 

I Skinner, p. 48. Archbishop Grindal, and Bishop Sandys 
(1571-76) urged their destruction, and even in 1604 Bishop 
Vaughan, one of the Hampton Court Commissioners. 

\ Rubric before Communion Service, 1549. 


the revisers of 1662 to contemplate a general return 
to its provisions.* It was but a hundred years ago 
that they had fallen into desuetude ; and the devout 
zeal of Bishop Cosin, and others among the revisers, 
on behalf of the Eucharist, would lead them to desire 
the restoration of whatever, in their judgment, would 
tend to its higher honour and more becoming cele- 
bration. Cosin himself was accustomed, as a Preben- 
dary of Durham Cathedral, to wear the cope, and to 
see it worn by others ; and not by the celebrant only, 
but by the attendant clergy. For in his answer to 
the articles of impeachment sent to the House of 
Lords against him in 1 640, he sa^'s " That the copes 
used in that Church were brought in thither long 
before his time. One there was that had the story of 
the Passion embroidered upon it ; but the cope that 
he used to wear^ when at any time he attended the Com- 
niunion Service, was of plain white satin only, without 
any embroidery upon it at all."f The canon of 1603 
must not, therefore, be understood as conjining the 
use of the cope to the celebrant, but only as providing 
that the celebrant, at least, must, in cathedrals, be so 
apparelled. It may be added, that the copes still 
preserved in Durham Cathedral, and only disused J 

* It is very remarkable, on the other hand, that, as was pointed 
out in the recent debate in Convocation, Cosin, and others of the 
revisers, especially Archbishop Sheldon, still made inquiry in 
their Visitations, not as to the other vestments, but the sui-plice 
only. The only solution would seem to be, that, personally, they 
wished the vestments restored, but, finding no response to their 
wishes, fell into the usual track of Visitation Articles. 

•j- Life of Cosin, prefixed to his Works, in the " Anglo-Catholio " 

J By Bishop VVarburton, as a Prebendary of Durham, circ, 1 "70. 



within a century, are a proof that, in this 
point at any rate, it is but very recently that the 
Edwardian "ornaments" ceased to be used in the 
English Churcb in our cathedrals ; while, in a solitary 
instance, that of the Coronation Service, the use of 
copes by the Archbishop, the attendant Bishops, and 
by the Dean and Canons of Westminster, survives to 
the present day. 

The bearing of these facts upon our subject is, that 
they prove that it was in no merely antiquarian spirit 
that our latest revisers retained the far-famed rubric 
of Edward YI. It was as having been accustomed 
to see a due access of honour and dignity accruing to 
the Holy Rite, that they wished, not merely to retain 
what had survived, in practice, of that rubric, but to 
restore the parts of it which had fallen into disuse ; 
to bring back, everywhere, with the less correct 
cope, that which in the rubric enjoyed a preference 
— the " vestment " or chasuble, — and whatever else 
the rubric involved. They hoped that the day was 
come, or that it would come ere long, when the 
sjirplice would, in respect of the Communion Service, 
yield to the proper " vestment " its " ancient usual 

And the reason why they did not at the same time 
procure the formal abolition of the Canon of 1603, 
which recognises the surplice for parish churches, 
is, we can hardly doubt, that they wished to leave 
the practical working out of the change to time, 
and to the voluntary action of the parochial clergy. 
There had existed ever since the year 1559 a 
diversity in practice ; and, ever since Elizabeth's 


*' Advertisements," an actual alternative in the 
Church's orders about vestments. That alternative 
they did not care to remove. It was by desuetude 
that the irregular habit had first come in, until it 
obtained recognition by the Canon of 1604 : it was 
to desuetude that they trusted for the removal of it. 
Meanwhile, those who chose to plead usage and the 
canon on the one hand, and those who preferred to 
plead the statute law of the Rubric on the other, 
were both alike in a fairly defensible position. 
Two modes, in short, of vesting the clergy for the 
Holy Communion were practically recognised at the 
latest settlement of our OflSces ; and, until some 
new enactment should supersede the one or the 
other, must continue to be recognised still. 

Such, I say, appears to be the position of 
the law, and of clerical duty or obligation, at the 
present moment. Beyond all question, this " Church 
and Realm hath received " and recognised, prac- 
tically, an alternative in this matter. She has 
not bound her sons absolutely, and without choice, 
either to the older or the later practice. Her 
position, as defined by the action of some of the 
wisest and best of her sons on the last occasion — two 
hundred years ago — of reconsidering her constitu- 
tion, has been one of observation and of hope ; of 
waiting to see which way, in a matter non-essential, 
though far from unimportant, the mind of her sons 
would carry her. 

And now a time has arrived when the question, 
after slumbering for two centuries, has awakened, 
and, in a practical form, demands an answer. 

E 2 


Hitherto, — that is, from the time of Elizabeth (1559) 
■until now, — no marked desire has been manifested by 
the parochial clergy to carry out the original pro- 
visions of the Prayer-book in this matter. But now 
that step has — whether by more or fewer of them I 
stop not now to inquire — been taken. There are 
churches in this land where the long-disused 
" Ornaments " have been assumed. That which the 
First Book of Edward handed on from the past; 
that which the Book of Elizabeth restored after its 
repeal, taking for granted that it would be operative, 
though the event proved otherwise ; that which the 
Eevisers of 1603 did not disturb, though the Canon 
of the same year authorised a departure from it ; 
that which Cosin and his fellow-labourers, in 1662, 
in language of increased strength, directed the 
restoration of : this has at length come forth among 
us, not in word only, but in act and visible form. 
And the question is, how is the Church to deal with 
this fact, and th^is phenomenon ? It is obvious and 
easy to say on the one hand — " There is no doubt 
about the matter. The rubric is statute law, and 
therefore overrides the canon, which is not." And 
it is equally obvious and easy to say, on the other 
hand — " There is no doubt about the matter : the 
usage of two hundred, or, with certain exceptions, of 
three hundred years, can be pleaded for the use of the 
surplice at the Holy Communion. A rubric which 
has been in abeyance for that period is and ought to 
be considered obsolete." A great deal may be said 
on behalf of both these positions ; and it is very 
unlikely that, debating the matter from this point of 


view — i.e. from mere consideration of the compa- 
rative weight of statute on the one hand, and custom 
on the other, — we should ever arrive at a conclusion 
which would satisfy the diversely constituted minds 
with which these two considerations carry weight 
respectively. We must, therefore, it is submitted, 
take a wider view of the question, and see if there 
are not other considerations besides these, which 
may lead us to a just and wise decision about it. 

And one very weighty and relevant consideration, 
though by no means decisive of the whole matter, is, 
How far would the restoration of these vestments — 
I will suppose it wisely, judiciously, and charitably 
brought about — accord with the tone and feeling, 
either present or growing up, of the existing English 
Church ? Now, it must, I think, be admitted, that 
the experience of the last few years is such, as to 
modify very considerably the answer to be given 
to this question. The Church has within that 
period succeeded in making certain ritual features 
attractive to the people at large, to a degree entirely 
unknown to her hitherto. She has developed, by 
care and training, their capacities for the enjoyment 
of a well-conceived ritual. And she has exhibited 
to them phases and modes of Service to which tliey 
and their fathers for centuries had been strangers. 
I refer especially to the grea^; movement lately made 
for the improvement of parochial music throughout 
the land. Indirectly and accidentally, this move- 
ment carried with it many results of a ritual kind. 
It accustomed the eyes of the generality to Services 
on a scale of magnitude and dignity unknown to 


them before. Instead of the single "parson and 
clerk," or Minister and handful of untrained singers, 
they beheld, at the Festivals, choral worship, con- 
ducted by a multitude of clergy, and by hundreds or 
thousands of choristers. And they were delighted with 
it. The grandeur of such a service, its correspond- 
ence to the glimpses of heavenly worship disclosed 
to us by Holy Scripture,* forcibly impressed the 
imagination, and enlisted the feelings. These occa- 
sions also raised the question of how large bodies of 
persons, meeting for a united act of musical worship, 
should be attired, how marshalled and occupied, 
while moving into their assigned places in the 
Sanctuary. Hence the surplice, the processional 
hymn, the banner to distinguish the several choirs, 
became familiar things. They were felt to be the 
natural accompaniments of such occasions. And thus 
was brought to light what had hitherto been, 
and with every appearance of reason, denied, viz. 
that this nation differs not in its mental constitution 
from other nations ; that its antipathy (doubtless 
existing) to these things, had been founded simply 
on their being unusual, and on their supposed con- 
nection with unsound doctrine. Once the meaning of 
them was seen — Enghshmen like to know the meaning 
of things — the dislike and the prejudice was overcome. 
And the larger gatherings at which these things 
were done have reacted upon the more limited and 
ordinary parochial services. Their proper object 
was so to react in respect of musical proficiency 
only ; but they have influenced, at the same time, the 

* Rev. vii. 9, xiv. 3. Compare 2 Chron. v. 12. 


whole outward form and order of things. As one 
main result, they have in many instances brought 
back the proper threefold action so clearly recognised 
in the Prayer-book, and so long utterly lost sight 
of, except in cathedral and collegiate churches, "of 
minister, clerks, and people." The appointed medium 
for sustaining the clergy on the one hand, and the 
congregation on the other, in the discharge of their 
several parts in the service, — viz. the trained lay-clerks, 
the men and boys of the practised choir, — has re- 
appeared and taken its due place among us. The 
presence of trained persons so employed, — securing 
and leading, as in the Lord's Prayer, Creed, and 
Versicles, the due responsive action of the people ; 
conducting, as in the Psalms, Canticles, and hymns, 
the " saying or singing ;" supporting, as in the 
processional Psalm of the Marriage Service, or in 
the solemn anthems at the Burial of the Dead, the 
voice of the minister ; or, lastly, in the anthem, 
" in quires and places where they sing," lifting priest 
and people alike by music of a higher strain than 
those unskilled in music can attain to ; — such ministry 
is assumed by the Prayer-book to have place in 
every parish church in the land. And the reducing 
of this theory to practice is in reality an important 
step in ritual. It has enlisted the sympathies 
of the laity in behalf of a fuller and richer aspect of 
Service than they had heretofore been accustomed to. 
In another point, too, the mental habit of this 
country has undergone a change ; viz. as regards 
the festive use and decoration of churches. Our 
harvest thanksgivings, and similar occasions, con- 


ducted as they have been, have taught those, to 
whom the lesson was perfectly new, to find in the 
Services of the Sanctuary, in worship, and attendance 
at the Holy Communion, a vent and expression for 
their sense of thankfulness. At such times the 
flower-wreath and the banner, the richly vested and 
decked altar, the Choral Service, the processional 
hymn, have been felt to be in place. And thus 
familiarised with them, our people come even to look 
for them as the natural attendants on high days of 

Now it is a question at least worth asking, whether 
we have not here indications of a greater disposition 
than we have commonly given our people credit for, to 
be moved by such things — by sacred song — by fair 
vestments — by processional movement — by festal 
decoration ? whether we have not been foregoing 
hitherto, to our great loss, certain effective ways of in- 
fluencing our people for good ? whether there must not, 
after all, be less truth than has been commonly sup- 
posed in the received maxim, that Englishmen care 
nothing about these things, nor can be brought to care 
for them ; that they have not in them, in short, the 
faculty of being affected by externals in religious 
matters ; that the sober Saxon spirit loves, above all 
things, a simple and unadorned worship, and the like ? 
The writer is not ashamed to confess that he has in 
time past shared in this estimate of his countrymen ; 
but that experience has greatly shaken his confidence 
in the correctness of it. And he may, therefore, be 
accepted, perhaps, as a somewhat unprejudiced wit- 
ness, when he testifies to so much as has come under 


his own notice as to the effect of the " ritnal develop- 
ments," so to call them, of which he has above spoken. 
He can bear witness, then, that with these accom- 
paniments, the Services of the Sanctuary have become 
to many, manifestly, a pleasure and a delight: that these 
influences are found to touch and move, even to tears, 
those harder and more rugged natures which are acces- 
sible to scarce anything else ; breaking even through 
the crust of formality or indifference which grows so 
commonly over the heart of middle age. Is it irreve- 
rent to think and believe that what these simple 
souls witness to, as their own experience in presence 
of a kind of ritual new to them, though familiar of 
old to their fathers, and to the Church throughout 
the world, is but an anticipation of what our great 
poet, Puritan though he was, has described as among 
the consolations of the blessed ? That which our poor 
peasants gratefully find provided for them on the 
Church's days of festival, is no other, in its degree, 
than what, to the poet's thought, awaited his Lycidas 
" in the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love :" — 

" There entertain him all the saints above, 
In solemn troops and sweet societies. 
That sing, and, singing, in their glory move, 
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes." 

It will be understood that the writer is not now 
engaged in advocating these particular practices as 
binding upon us, or even as capable of being 
introduced everywhere ; but only pointing out that, 
in the acceptance and welcome with which this whole 
side of ritual action has been received, even in 


unlikely quarters, we have some indication of the 
probable effect on the general mind of other well- 
considered ritual restorations. 

And if it be still contended that the more usual 
condition of the English mind is that which has 
been above described, viz. of preferring a religion 
which reaches them mainly through the ear, and 
appeals but little to the eye, I venture to suggest 
that — (granting this to be so) — if a given nation is 
wanting in one particular religious sense, that is the 
very reason why that sense should be carefully 
educated. If the Italian is over-sensuous, as it 
would probably be agreed that he is, in his religious 
constitution, he is the very person that needs for 
his improvement intellectual development. And just 
so, if the Englishman is, in religious matters, unsus- 
ceptible, comparatively, of sesthetic influences, the 
inference is, not that these should be carefully kept 
from him, but that he should, as he is able to bear, 
be subjected to them. 

The bearing of what has now been said upon the 
restoration of the vestments and the like, is this. The 
most obvious objection to it is, that the rubric in 
question has been in abeyance for long years, 
or even centuries ; and that this proves that it does 
not suit the genius of the English nation. I have 
shown, indeed, that, as appears from the history of 
the period in question, — and other evidence might 
be adduced, — the rubric has not been altogether 
dormant in times past. Still, the case for desuetude 
is a very strong one, no doubt ; and there is but 
one thing that could possibly invalidate it, and that 


is, the existence of unmistakable indications that the 
revival would, notwithstanding the long abeyance 
of the rubric, meet some rising need or aspiration of 
the hour. If it does that, then the negative argu- 
ment, that there is no place or call for the restoration, 
— that it is the mere galvanization of a dead thing, 
or, at best, the summoning of it back to a life which 
must be fugitive and evanescent, because there is 
not atmosphere for it to breathe, — is at once done 
away with. 

But let us now briefly inquire what are the positive 
recommendations, if any, of the eucharistic vestments 
which it is proposed to restore. 

In the first place, then, it is alleged, that to 
provide for the Holy Eucharist special vestures 
of any kind, not only harmonizes with the transcen- 
dent superiority of the rite itself above all other 
kinds of worship, but is the proper correlative of 
much that has been doing of late years in the 
English Church. Is it consonant, it is asked, 
to give to chancel, and sacrarium, and altar, all the 
chastened richness and beauty of which they are 
capable, and yet to deny to the celebrant at the holy 
Bite all adornment beyond surplice and stole ? Even 
if we had never possessed any distinct eucharistic 
vestments, we might well, it is said, as a matter of 
consistency, introduce them. 

But next, let us ask, do these particular vest- 
ments possess any claim upon us, beyond the fact of 
their being different from the ordinary surplice, and 
of their being prescribed in the rubric ? And here. 


certainly (when we come to inquire into their history) 
their wonderful antiquity, universality, and probable 
rationale, cannot but make a deep impression upon 
us. They have been so fully described in recent 
publications,* to which the reader can refer, that 
there is the less need to enter into particulars about 
them here. The most interesting circumstance 
hitherto brought to light respecting them, is this ; that 
there is no reason for doubting that they are, as to 
their form, no other than the every-day garments of 
the ancient world in East and West, such as they existed 
at the time of Our Lord, and for many ages before. Mr. 
Skinner has proved this to demonstration. There was, 
1st, the long and close " coat," " tunic," or " vesture," 
called from its colour (as a ministerial garment), the 
" alb ;" 2nd, the broad " border " of this coat, 
often of the richest materials, which developed, 
ecclesiastically, into the "orarium" (probably from 
ora, a border) or " stole ;" 3rd, the girdle, combining 
easily with the " stole ;" 4th, the *' garment " or 
" robe " (ecclesiastically the " casula " or " chasuble "), 
covering the tunic down to the knees, and so 
allowing the ends of the " border " (or " stole ") to 
appear. " Such," says Mr. Skinner, " were the 
ordinary vestments in daily common use in East and 
West."t These would be, naturally, the garments 

* See Palmer's ' Origines Liturgicse,' vol. ii., Appendix ; the 
' Directoriiim Anglicanum ;' Lee ' On Eucharistic Vestments ; ' 
and the Kev. Jas. Skinner's ' Plea for the Eitual ' (Masters) : but 
especially the last-named writer's most able dissertations in the 
'Guardian' of Jan. 17 and Jan. 24, 1866; and the Dean of 
Westminster's speech in Convocation, Feb. 9, 1866. 

t Compare the well-known passages, " If any man will take 


in whicli, like our Lord himself, the Apostles and 
others would officiate at the Holy Eucharist, 
and then reverence would preserve them in subse- 
quent ages. No other supposition can account for 
their universality, as ministering garments, through- 
out the world. And how wonderful the interest 
attaching to them, even were this all ! How fitting 
that the Celebrant, the representative, however unwor- 
thily, of our Lord himself, in His most solemn Action, 
should be clad even as He was ! 

But this is not all. There are circumstances which 
this rationale of the vestments, though correct as far 
as it goes, does not account for. 

First, in the vestment-customs both of East and 
West there is recognition, though in different ways, 
of some covering for the head. In East and West 
a bonnet or mitre is worn by Bishops. In celebrating, 
in the West, a small garment called the " amice," 
of fine white linen, with a very rich edge or fillet, is 
first placed on the head of the Celebrant, and then 
removed to his shoulders, so that the rich edge rests at 
first on the forehead, and then appears from under the 
alb and chasuble.* Now the prayer, with which this 

away thy chhe (outer robe), let him have thy coat (or tunic) also." 
" Ye pull off the robe with the garmnit from them that pass by 
securely." — Micah ii. 8. "His garments . . and also his coat 
. . without seam, woven from the top throughout." " The cloke 
that I left at Troas , . bring with thee." 

* 'Directorium Anglicanum,' pp. 16, 21. "The amice is an 
oblong square of fine white linen, and is put on upon the cassock 
or priest's canonical dress. It is embroidered or * apparelled ' 
upon one edge. In vesting, it is placed for a moment, like a veil, 
upon the crown of the head, and then spread upon the shotdders." 


singular appendage is put on (" Place on my head, 
Lord, the helmet of salvation"), proves that it 
represents a bonnet or head-covering. 

Again, the fact that the stole is not a mere border, 
but detached, both in East and West, from the tunic 
or alb, and in the West, rests on the shoulders, is 
singular. In the East it is a broad double stripe of 
costly silk, richly embroidered, hanging down in 
front of the wearer ; and oiion * adorned with gems 
and gold; while in the West it is crossed f on the 
breast in celebrating : and throughout the East and 
West extraordinary importance has from early times 
attached to it, it being worn in every sacred 
function .J 

Now there is but one way of accounting for these 
curious arrangements. It is, that, at a very early 
period, the course was adopted of assimilating the 
ministering vestments of the clergy. — especially in 
celebrating — to those of the Jewish High Priest, 
This could with great facility be done, because these 

" The apparel of the amice cannot he too rich in its ornamentation." 
Amice is the Latin amictus — " the covering," referring to Psalm cxl. 
7, " Thou hast covered my head in the day of battle." 

* See Neale, Introduction to ' History of Eastern Church,' 
vol. i. p. 308. 

f The A'ery ancient Syriac Liturgy of St. James has the loose 
stole, as in the West, and crossed too upon the breast. — lienaud. 
p. 15. 

J " In all prayers, even in those recited at home preparatory 
to the public Office, the Epitrachelion (i.e. stole) is worn." — 
Neale, ' Eastern Church,' p. 313. And St. Dunstan's Canons, 
A.D. 979, order " That no priest ever come within the church 
door, or into his stall, without a stole." — Hook's ' Lives of the 
Archbishops of Canterbury,' vol. i. p. 488. 


vestments themselves were only the usual Eastern 
dress, glorified and enriched, with some especial ad- 
ditions. There was (Exod. xxviii.), besides the ephod, 
which was a rich under-garment — 1. The long "em- 
broidered coat or tunic of fine linen " (v. 39). 2. 
The " curious girdle of the ephod," which appears to 
have girded in both ephod and tunic. 3. The singu- 
lar combination of the shoulder-pieces and breastplate, 
which together formed one whole, and were among 
the richest and most peculiar ijisignia of the High 
Priesthood : the names of the Twelve Tribes being 
engraven, in the costliest gems, both on the shoulder- 
pieces and breastplate, as a means of making " me- 
morial " of the people, with especial power, before 
God (vv. 9-30). 4. The outer garment or " robe of 
the ephod" (v. 31), all of blue, of circular form, with 
a *' hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof," to pass 
it over the head of the wearer ; whereas the ordinary 
outer garments were square, and thrown loosely on. 
On the hem were pomegranates and golden bells 
alternating. 5. And lastly, the "mitre o^ fine linen" 
(v. 39), and upon it, on the forehead, the "plate of 
pure gold" (TreVaXov), in virtue of which Aaron 
"bore," or did away with, through his ministerial 
sanctity, the imperfections of the people's offerings 
(v. 38). 

Now here, at length, we have a full account of the 
rationale of the Eucharistic vestments, and specially 
of those parts of them which differed from the ordi- 
nary clothing of early days. We see that the 
" border " of the ordinary tunic was therefore detached 
from it, beautified with embroidery, and enriched 


with gems, because the Aaronic shoulder-pieces 
and breastplate were thus detached, and were so 
adorned. The Greek name for the stole is still, 
for priests, the " neck-garment," for bishops, the 
"shoulder-piece " (omophorion). 

Again, the "bonnet or mitre," or its substitute, 
the "amice," is therefore of "fine linen," and has a 
peculiarly rich " fillet," and must be placed upon 
the head for a symbol, so as to bring the fillet upon 
the forehead, because of the wondrous power and 
significance of the Aaronic " plate of gold," similarly 

We cannot, in short, resist the conclusion that the 
Church did, at some very early period (as the uni- 
versality of these things proves), assimilate the old 
simple vestments, of set purpose, to the richer and 
more significant Aaronic ones. And if we ask how 
early this was done, the answer is, that the first 
beginnings of it were made even in the lifetime of 
the Apostles. For Eusebius cites Polycrates, Bishop 
of Ephesus (a.d. 198), as testifying of St. John at 
Ephesus, that "as a priest he wore the TreToXov, or 
plate of gold."* And Epiphaniusf says the same 
of St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem. Later (c. 320), 
Eusebius addresses the priests as " wearing the long 
garment, the crown, and the priestly robe. "J The 
plate of gold, on a bonnet or mitre, is still used 
at celebration by the Patriarch of Alexandria.^ And 
the Armenian Church, whose traditions, where they 

* Hist. Eccl. iii., 31 : 6s iyey^Orj tepevs to TreVoAoi' 7r€<^opeKws. 
t ' De H^resi,' 78. 

§ Neale, ' Eastern Church,' Introd., p. 313. 


differ from those of the rest of the world, are generally 
of immense antiquity, actually has the breastplate* 
only with the names of the Twelve Apostles, instead 
of those of the Twelve Tribes. 

We now see, then, how it came to pass that the 
stole is what it is in East and West ; why it is so 
highly symbolical of ministerial power ; why made so 
rich ; why crossed on the breast in celebrating ; 
why, with all its richness, put under the chasuble : scil. 
because, like the Aarouic breastplate, it was a memorial 
" before God " of the preciousness of God's people, 
whom the priest bore, as he should bear still, on 
his shoulder and on his heart, in his ministry of labour 
and of love. We see, again, why the "apparel" of 
the " amice "is so rich, because anciently of gold ; 
why placed on the forehead, the seat of thought, scil. 
that the priest may be mindful of his " ministry of 
reconciliation ; " and why accompanied with a prayer 
for the "helmet of salvation." 

And even the ordinary vestments, the surplice, and 
stole, and hood, derive a clear rationale and fitness 
from the same source. The surplice (supei^ellicium) , 
as Mr. Skinner teaches us,t is only the close tunic or 
" alb," so enlarged as conveniently to cover the 
pellicium, or coat of fur or skin which the clergy wore 
in the choir. The stole, crossed at celebration, loses 
its resemblance to the breastplate, and its allusion to 
the Cross, at the lower ministry of the Ordinary 
Office, being worn pendent. The hood is the amice 
in simpler and less significant form, intended ori- 

* Neale, ibid., p. 307. 

t Letter to the ' Guardian,' Jan, 24, 1866. 


ginally to be actually worn on the head, and still 
capable of being so ; its varying form and colour 
only indicating the particular sodality to which the 
wearer belongs. 

Of the cope it is needless to say more than that it 
is properly processional, though recognised in the 
English Church (as in the Armenian) for celebration, 
and for the clergy in the choir on high festivals. 

It may be added that the English vestments diifer 
sufficiently from those of foreign Churches to have a 
national character. 

It thus appears that the Eucharistic vestments, 
and even our ordinary ones through them, are a link 
of a marvellously interesting kind between us and 
antiquity, even to Apostolic times ; and between us 
and the whole Christian world. Nay, our vestments, 
like our Services, connect us with the old Mosaic 
Ordinances. They ought to be grave reasons indeed, 
which should induce us to raze them from our 
statute-book, whatever became of the question of 
their restoration to general use. 

Of other usages now under debate, I would 
mention briefly — 1. The position of the celebrant 
during the office ; 2. The two lights on the altar ; 
3. Incense ; 4. The mixed chalice ; 5. The crucifix. 

1 . There is no real doubt whatever as to the in- 
tention of the English Church about the position 
of the celebrant in administering the Holy Com- 

In order to make the matter plain, it is to be ob- 
served, that the slab or surface of the Altar, or Holy 
Table — there is a wonderful equableness in the use 


of the two terras by antiquity * — was always conceived 
of as divided into three portions of about equal size. The 
central one, called the media pars, was exclusively 
used for actual celebration, and often had a slab of 
stone f let into it, called mensa consecratoria. The 
other portions were called the latus sinistrum and 
dextrum, or Septentrionale et Australe.\ These would 
be in English the " midst of the Altar," the " left or 
north side," and the " right or south side : " the term 
" side " being used with reference to the " middle 
portion." The most solemn parts of the rite, then, 
were performed " at the middle " of the Table ; the 
subordinate parts "a# the northern or southern por- 
tions." In all cases, " at " certainly meant with the 
face turned eastwards. Now, in the First Book of 
Edward YI., it was ordered that the very beginning 
of the Service should be said " afore the midst of the 
altar ;" i. e. before the " media pars." As to the rest 
of the Service, it was doubtless to be said in the old 
customary places. As a rule, all except the Gospel, 
from the preparatory prayer to the end of the 
Epistle, was said at the south side. In the Second 
Book the order was, " the Priest standing at the 
North-side of the Table shall say the Lord's Prayer," 
&c. This could not possibly, in those days, be under- 

♦ The Fathers generally prefer * Altar,' the Liturgies ' Holy 

•j" Syriac Liturgy of St. James, " pars cdtaris in qua tabula de- 
fixa est ;" " pars media mensoB vitce." 

J Syriac Liturgy of St. James, Renaudot ; the ' Ancient English 
and Communion Offices' (Maskell), where "cornu" is used. 
The Roman ' Ritus celebi-andi Missam,' 4.4; " Thurificat aliud 
latus altaris." 

K 2 


stood to mean anything else than facing the left-hand, or 
northei'n portion of the Table. The reason of the change 
from the middle to the " north-side " probably was, 
that an instruction was now given, in case there were 
no communicants, to stop short of actual celebration ; 
in which case it would hardly be seemly to stand at 
the centre or consecrating portion of the Table. But 
it was doubtless intended that the centre should still be 
used for actual consecration, even as it was in the First 
Book, though no order was given in either case, to that 
effect. The order for the " north-side " was only put 
in because it was a new arrangement. And it will 
be observed that the term used is " the North-side :" 
the hyphen indicating that a special and well-known 
part of the Table is meant. The present most in- 
correct practice, of standing at the north end, probably 
arose from two causes, — first, the infrequency of 
celebrations, which caused the habit to be formed 
of standing somewhat northwards ; while the old dis- 
tinct conception of the position had passed away : 
secondly, from the practice — probably in use* of 
old in our Church — of placing the vessels and un- 
consecrated elements, if there was no credence-table, 
on the non-consecrating part of the altar, where it was 
found convenient to keep them still when conse- 
crating. It may be questioned whether it be not 
still correct, or allowable however, thus to make 
use of the less important parts of the Table to serve 

* The Eubrics in the Syriac Liturgy of St. James seem plainly 
to contemplate this ; directing the vessels, &c., to be placed on 
the north-side or south-side, until consecration. And it is very 
remarkable that, both in England and abroad, ancient credence- 
taljles are very rare. 


as a Credence, if none other is provided. But the 
consecration should always take place at the middle 
of the Holy Table. 

The position thus prescribed, by unbroken ancient 
rule, for consecration, is by no means unimportant. 
By it is signified and expressed the solemn oblation 
and sacrificial presentation made by the celebrant, 
after the example of Christ, — leading the people, and 
cariying them with him in the action. For the 
primitive view of the institution, recognised in 
every ancient Communion Service, is, that when Our 
Blessed Lord " took bread, and blessed, and brake it," 
He thereby, in a deep mystery, presented before God, 
through the medium of the element which He had 
chosen, the Sacrifice of His Body. That Sacrifice 
was to be consummated, indeed, on the morrow ; or 
rather, by Jewish reckoning, at a later hour on the 
same day. But it was already, in a mystery, and 
by the yielding up His Will, begun, and in operation. 
This is implied by the exact and expressive language 
of the Institution — " This is my Body which is 
being given (lilonevov) or broken (h-Xw/jLevov) ; my 
Blood which is being shed, for you." Hence, too, it 
was that He could say of the Bread and Wine — 
"This 25 my Body, my Blood;" because these had, 
as being the medium through which they were 
offered, been mysteriously, as regards virtue or 
power, identified therewith.* And what the cele- 
brant does, at any celebration, is to imitate, in his 
humble measure, and as Christ ordained, the action 

* See on this subject, in Appendix A, a valuable comment of 
the Bishop of Exeter on 1 Cor. xi. 24, and St. Luke xxii. 1!>. 


of Christ. In order to this it is important, and has 
ever been the custom of the Church, that he should 
stand at the midst of the Holy Table as one leading 
a common . action for all. In the East he stands 
eastward of the Table, facing the people ; in the 
West, westward of the Table, and looking away from 
them : in both cases alike he is " in the midst," offering 
for and with them. 

In some cathedrals, as Exeter, and at Westminster 
Abbey, the remains of the ancient practice are to be 
seen ; the vessels being placed, the offerings of the 
clergy made, and the Confession said, at the middle of 
the Table. 

2. The question of the legal position of the "two 
lights on the altar " is a somewhat complicated one. 
But in its general aspect the usage derives a sanction 
and an interest from the fact that " oil for the 
light " is among the things recognised in the 3rd 
Apostolical Canon ; and further, that the " two 
lights " are used in the Syriac Liturgy of St. James * 
(from which we may have derived them through 
Theodore of Tarsus) : whereas all the West, except 
ourselves, has seven lights. In point of effect, not 
much can be said for them ; but the symbolism is 
beautiful and interesting. The Eastern Church, in 
particular, has always associated artificial light — 
viewed as dispelling natural darkness — with our 
Lord's coming to the world, as its supernatural and 
-heavenly Light. It is well to remember, too, that 
the only accompaniment of the shewbread, of which 
BO much has been said above, was, together with 

* Kenaudot, Lituigiar, Oriental. Collectio, 


incense, artificial light; and even in the Llaze of 
heavenly ritual there were seven lamps burning.* 
These considerations, joined to the well-known 
Injunction of Edward YI., for the retention of " two 
lights," certainly give the usage a good position, 
when we are considering what is the mind, fairly 
and liberally estimated, of the English Church. 

Nor is it unimportant to observe, that even the 
candlesticks themselves, if in any case it is not 
thought well to light the candles, possess a symbolism 
of their own : just as e. g. the maniple of the Western 
Church, now disused but still worn, is a memento of 
that for which (it is said) it was intended, viz. to 
be used as a sudarium in the labours of the priest- 
hood. It may be remarked, too, that in St. John's 
vision, what he saw was " golden candlesticks " 
{Xvxviai) ; not burning candles or lamps (Xin^i/ot or 
Xa/xTra^es- Trypo? (St. John V. 35 ; Rev. V. 8, viii. 3). 

3. Incense, it may be observed, has precisely the 
same degree of recommendation from antiquity as 
the " two lights," It was used with the shewbread 
and the peace-oiferings ; it has. a beautiful symbolism ; 
it is recognised as on a par with " oil for the lamp " 
in the Apostolic Canon ; and it finds a place in 
the heavenly ritual (Rev. viii. 3). Its historical 
position with us is weaker; but if used, it would 
certainly be in accordance with the mind of the 
English Church to use it in a very simple manner .f 

* Eev. iv. 5. On the symbolism of candles, lit or unlit, see 
Dr. Jebb's valuable pamphlet * Ritual Law and Custom ' (Riving- 
tons). Notes F. H. 

f The suspension of the censer by chains, and waving it, is 


Its proper purpose is twofold — 1. To purify by its 
sweetness ; and 2. To symbolise both the purity of 
acceptable offering, and its power of ascending, 
through Christ's mediation, to heaven. 

4. The question of the " mixed chalice," or of the 
mingling of water with the wine in the Holy 
Eucharist, cannot be called one of high importance. 
It has been maintained that it is one of those things 
which, as having been universal throughout the 
Church from an early period, must be apostolic;* 
but the assertion is unfounded. There is a very 
large and important branch of the Church which 
does not at this day, and which, we may safely 
affirm, never did, mix water with the wine, viz. the 
Armenian. The Armenian Church is remarkable 
for the tenacity with which it has from very early 
times, in respect of things indifferent, adhered to 
old traditions, when the whole of the rest of the 
Church have departed from them. The introduction 
of the observance of Christmas-Day, for example, 
took place in the East in St. Chrysostom's time, 
being borrowed, as he informs us, from the West. 
This the Armenian Church declined to adopt. Their 
vestment-traditions, again, as w^e have seen, are 
peculiar ; and they positively assert their immense 

imdoiibtedl}- modem (Skinner's 'Plea for the Eitual'). Tncense 
was used in Queen Elizabeth's Chapel, and by Bishop Andrewes, 
and in many parish Churches from 1658 to 1630 at least, and in 
royal chapels till 1684, and at George Ill's coronation (Hierurgia 
Anglicana) : also " at the altar in Ely Cathedral, at the greater 
festivals," till about 1770 (Coles' MSS. 5873 f. ) 

* See Dr. Littledale's ' Mixed Chalice,' with reference to its 
having been discountenanced by the Bishop of Exeter. 


antiquity.* Hence it might even be, that the Ar- 
menian Church had alone preserved the apostoHc 
usage in this matter, and that all the other Churches 
had departed therefrom. However, as tlie term 
" mixture " is applied by Justin Martyr to the 
cup, and as the matter is incapable of proof one 
way or the other, it is best to suppose that there 
were two traditions or habits in the matter; and 
this is quite sufficient to justify the English Church 
in having, as far as her rubric is concerned, laid 
the usage aside in the Second Book of Edward. At 
the same time, as the custom certainly survived f 
in the English Church after the Eevision, and is all 
but universal, and has interesting symbolical mean- 
ings X attached to it, it may well be tolerated, should 
a policy of toleration be adopted at this juncture 
by the English Church. 

5. I come to speak, in the next place, of the cru- 
cifix, which is among the " ornaments of the Church " 
attempted to be restored at the present day. It is 
difficult, however, to conceive any two things standing 
on more widely different ground than this, and any 
one of those ornaments or usages before-mentioned. 
They, in any case, whether vestments, position of 

* See Neale, Gen. Introduction, p. 307. 

t E.g., under Bishop Andre wes. 

J These vary much with different Churches, — an indication 
perhaps of the indifference of the rite. They are chiefly, — 1. 
the union in Christ of the Humanity with the Divinity; 2. the 
pouring forth from His side of Blood and \\'ater. In either 
sense the act may have been a devout afterthought; and on the 
whole I think it improbable that our Lord mixed the cup. ITiat 
the Jews drank their wine mixed is not much to the purpose. 


the celebrant, altar-lights, incense, or the mixed 
chalice, can plead immense antiquity, and all but 
universality at the present day ; neither are they 
connected of necessity with superstitious usages. 
But with the crucifix, the reverse of all this is the 
case. It was utterly unknown to the Church of 
early days ; it is unknown to this hour to the whole 
Eastern Church ; and it has given occasion in time 
past, as it does at this day, to the grossest super- 
stitions. The use of it, as experience has proved, is in 
reality the merest tampering with the principles of 
our nature ; ever ready (as the length and vehemence 
of the Second Commandment sufficiently testifies) to 
save ourselves the trouble of "seeing Him who is 
invisible," and to fasten our faith on some outward 
object instead. And there is this especial objection 
to associating the crucifix with the Holy Com- 
munion more especially, that (as was recently well 
observed by the Bishop of Exeter) there are provided 
thereby, in dangerous rivalry, two representations or 
" shewings forth," of the Body of Christ, and of the 
Death of Christ ; the one " ordained by Christ himself, 
as a means whereby we receive the same ; " the other, 
" that which our own fingers have made," and more- 
over, " a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded 
upon no warranty of Scripture," or of the ancient 
Church. Can it be well, even supposing the usage 
not to result (though full surely it will) in idolatrous 
veneration — can it be well to divide the mind, in 
such an hour, between the ajypointed mode of contem- 
plating, with deepest awe and love, the Mystery of 
our Redemption, and another mode, which, were it 


never so defensible otherwise, may not dare to lift 
itself into any comparison with that far more touch- 
ing exhibition of His Dying Love which Christ 
Himself, at every Communion, " sets forth among us ? " 

I know by experience, in particular instances, that 
this danger is by no means imaginary : and I confess 
to having the deepest conviction of the rashness and 
folly of attempting to reintroduce, even among sober 
Englishmen and Englishwomen — especially in con- 
nection with the Holy Eucharist — this snare of me- 
diaeval Christendom. 

If it be objected that the Cross is open to the same 
objection, I answer. No. The Cross, as experience 
proves, while it reminds us of the Death of Christ, 
does not draw out that warm feeling, which is at 
once so delightful and so dangerous to some classes 
of minds. And the same may be said of pictorial or 
sculptured representations of the entire Crucifixion, 
where the larger treatment of the subject makes all 
the difference. It is the concentration of thought and 
devotion upon the natural resemblance or represen- 
tation of Christ Himself, that renders the crucifix so 
dangerous, and infallibly draws on its votaries to a 
breach of the Second Commandment. 

Other observances must be spoken of more in 
the mass, as it would be impossible to detail them 
severally. Suffice it to say, that an attempt is now 
being made to introduce, in conjunction with the 
vestments and other " ornaments " above mentioned, 
a minutely elaborated ceremonial^ applying to every 
part -of the eucharistic rite. 

The ground taken up for this is, 1st, that "orna- 


ments " cannot always be very clearly distinguished 
from usages, and therefore include them. But surely 
it is much to be remarked that the rubric does specify 
" ornaments," so that, although, accidentally, usages 
arising out of these ornaments are involved, — as, e.g. 
the candlesticks and candles involve or suggest the 
lighting of the candles, — yet the rubric cannot be 
taken to include usages which stand unconnected 
with ornaments, such as making the sign of the 
cross, or the like. 

But it is contended, further, that not only are 
usages, as well as " ornaments," covered (as no doubt 
they are to some extent) by the rubric, but that it 
actually legalizes everything, whether ornament or 
usage, which was in use in the twenty-fifth year of 
Henry YIII. The ground for this startling asser- 
tion, — which has been made the basis of a vast and 
elaborate system of ritual,* — is that the second year 
of Edward YI. (which is named in the rubric) 
includes a considerable period preceding Ihe passing 
of the Prayer-book, Act. That year, it is contended, 
commenced on January 28th, 1548, and extended 
to January 28th, 1549 ; so that the Prayer-book 
(which was not established until January 15th, 1549, 
by 2 and 3 Edward YI., c. 1) is only a part of 
what the rubric refers to, and merely " supplemental 
to the old canons and constitutions."! We must 
accept, we are told, all that was in use by the 

* See Mr. Peiry's elaborate work ' Lawful Church Ornaments,' 
and ' Directorium Anglicanum,' passim, and Eev. J. Skinner's 
' Plea for our Threatened Kitual.' 

t * Directorium Anglicanum,' p. xiv. 


authority of Parliament in 1548-49. Now, the 
latest enactment of Parliament on the subject, 
previous to that year, was the 25 Henry VIII., c. 
19, which legalizes everything then in use. So that, 
in short, we are, by the rubric, thrown back upon 
part of the pre-Reformation period, for the ornaments 
and usages now lawful in the English Church. 

The simple answer to all this is, that the Prayer- 
book is elsewhere in legal documents (as my friend 
Mr. Shaw has shown*) solely and exclusively meant 
when " the second year of Edward VI." is spoken 
of. It may be added, that the most recent judicial 
decision bearing on the point {re Westerton v. 
Liddell) proceeds expressly upon the view, that the 
Prayer-book, and the Prayer-book alone, is what the 
rubric refers to. 

But, in truth, there are other considerations which 
take away all justification whatever from nine-tenths 
of the ceremonies which are now being introduced 
among us. In the first place, a great many of them, 
perhaps the greater number, are not old English 
ceremonies at all, but foreign ones, derived from 
the existing practice — not always of very great anti- 
quity — of the Church of Rome. Now, without going 
so far as to say that those who have introduced 
them have thereby incurred the pains and penalties 
of a pj-cemunire, as having brought in *' the fashions 
of the Bishop of Rome, his ways and customs," it 
must be plain that it is impossible to justify such 
practices upon the ground alleged. Plainly, you 

* See an able article in the 'Contemporary Keview,' No. 1, 
Jan. 1866. 


cannot base foreign customs on an English rubric. The 
rubric legalises " such ornaments ... as were in this 
Church of England, by the authority of Parliament, 
in the second year of King Edward the Sixth." And 
this, we are told, includes " usages," and all usages 
known to the latter part of Henry YIII.'s reign. 
Be it so, however vast the concession. But will that 
justify a single usage which was not "in this Church 
of England," ever since it was a Church at all? 
Is it not plain that, so far forth as the ceremonies 
now introduced never were English ceremonies, they 
break the very rubric to which they appeal ? Now 
it is notorious that a great part of these cere- 
monies are brought in on the authority of a work 
frequently referred to in these pages, called * Direc- 
torium Anglicanum.' And in that work the modem 
Roman usages, to the disregard of the ancient 
English, and often in direct contravention of them, 
are to a very great extent recommended. I will 
take but a single instance, — the very first direc- 
tion in the book as to the " Order of Adminis- 
tration," p. 23. It concerns the colours for the 
vestments ; — not a matter of the first importance, it 
may be. But so it is, that the Roman colours are 
prescribed in the text, and the English ones merely 
mentioned in a note. And this is but one instance, 
out of a vast number, of the entire untrustworthiness 
of that work as a guide to the ancient English 
usages. Under the delusive title of ' Directorium 
Anglicanum,' it has presented to the unwary 
student of ritual, mixed up with our own of old 
time, the most recent Roman ones. It may be 


hoped that this fact, when pointed out to such 
of our brethren as have been misled by that 
learned but most unjustifiable publication, will in- 
duce them to modify their present practice. 

" But," it will be contended, " surely we may claim 
to reintroduce all ancient English ceremonies ; such 
as elevating the Elements after consecration ; making 
the sign of the cross in consecrating, and again over 
the head of each communicant before administering ; — 
or such, again, as frequent bowing and genuflection ; — 
various regulated movements to and fro, — as at the 
saying of the Creed ; — swinging of censers again and 
again in various directions ; with many other cere- 
monies." To all this, however, there is an answer 
which, I humbly conceive, is unanswerable. It is 
this, — that the English Church, to whose laws they 
appeal, has expressly abolished some of these cere- 
monies, and laid her prohibition upon the use of more 
than a very moderate number of any kind. 

I refer, first, to the fact that she withdrew from 
her Service-book certain orders previously embodied 
in it for the performance of some of these actions. 
Under this head comes the elevation of the Elements 
after consecration. This is confessedly, even by the 
admission of Roman writers, a modern ceremony, 
not older than the twelfth century.* However, in 
the old English Service-books the order was, '' After 
the words, ' For this is my Body,' the priest shall 

* See Mabillon, Iter. Ital., p. xlix., and ' Principles of Divine 
Service,' Introd. vol. ii. p. 87. A slight raising of the Elements 
at the words ' lie blessed,' as if making an offering, is ancient and 
probably universal. 


bend himself towards the Host, and afterwards lift 
it above his forehead, that it may be seen by the 
people." But in the Communion Office of 1549, 
this was forbidden by rubric, " These words are to 
be said without any elevation, or shewing to the 
people." And the Articles of 1562-1571 confirm 
this, saying, that " the sacrament was not by Christ's 
ordinance lifted up or worshipped " (Art. 28). So, 
again, the sign of the cross was, according to the 
First Book of Edward, to be used at consecration ; 
but in the Second it was withdrawn. Nor, I believe, 
can any rehabilitation of these practices be alleged 
(as can be done in the case of lights or incense) 
from subsequent injunctions, canons, or customs. 
It is in vain to say that there was anything 
accidental in the omission of the cross at consecra- 
tion, since it was carefully retained at baptism, and 
defended subsequently in the canons of 1603 ; or that 
the "elevation" or lifting up, "and worshipping," 
was restored by the omission of the prohibition in 
1549, since by 1562 (Articles) it was expressly 
disallowed. Those who plead, as a support to the 
rubric, the better mind of the Church, as manifested 
in the wishes of her great men — her Andreweses and 
Cosins — and even in her canons of 1603 — must accept 
the fact, that by that better mind and those canons 
these usages are never advocated. 

Again, as to the number of ceremonies. The 
Preface entitled ' Ceremonies ; why some be abo- 
lished, and some retained,' prefixed to the First 
Book of Edward, distinctly announces a new state of 
things in this respect. The " excessive multitude " 


of them is complained of; and it is clearly implied 
that those which remain are few and simple. The 
only question, in short, is, how many were left. 
The allegation that none are abolished is simply 
and utterly untenable. And we have this general 
principle laid down by that Preface for our guidance, 
that excess of ceremonies, or any great multiplying 
of them, such as now recommended, is absolutely 
irreconcilable with tlie mind of our Church. 

On the whole, then, to conclude this part of my 
subject, there ought to be no real difficulty among 
us as to what is fairly permissible, and answers to 
the mind of the English Church — taking a wide and 
liberal view of that mind — in the matter of ritual. 
Two leading conceptions, nobleness with simplicity, 
sum up her general desires on this subject. In the 
due observance of these, it is her deliberate judgment, 
(as represented by her wisest sons, — as Ridley, 
Andrewes, Overall, Cosin), will be found the best 
security for worthy worship on the one hand, and for 
devout worship on the other. 

And when we come to the carrying out of these 
conceptions there are yet other two principles by 
which she is guided, viz. regard for primitive usage ; 
and yet, again, forbearance from pressing even such 
usage in particular instances where it is likely to do 
more harm than good. And all along she supremely 
tenders that purity of Apostolic doctrine, which is 
dearer to her than life itself, and by its bearing upon 
which every rite or ceremony must ultimately be 



From antiquity accordingly, as has been shown 
above, she has derived, together with her pure doc- 
trine, " her beautiful garments : " alike her surplice, 
stole, and hood, and her chasuble, alb, and amice. 
Yet, as regards the obligatory adoption of these, she 
has, with a grand charity, more beautiful than the 
richest of the garments themselves, forborne, for 300 
years, to press upon an imperfectly trained people 
those which, in the judgment of her most learned 
and primitively-minded sons, best beseemed that 
high Ordinance. And even now, albeit she has 
done much towards training this nation in loftier 
conceptions of what is seemly in the matter of ritual ; 
although she has reawakened the appreciation of 
music and architecture, of colour and carving, of 
festival decoration and choral worship ; though she 
has, especially by the superior costliness and beauty 
lavished on the sacrarium and the altar, by increased 
care and reverence in administration of the Holy 
Eucharist, lifted that ordinance into something more 
of its due pre-eminence over all other Service ; though 
many surbordinate considerations point in the way 
of analogy and proportion, in the same directions ; 
though every tenet by which she has enriclied her 
ordinary worship,- — such as the bringing back, within 
a very few years, of stole and hood for the clergy, 
and of surplices for the lay members of the choir — 
though this all but demands some different vestments, 
at the least, for the celebrant and assistants at the 
Holy Communion : rievertheless, she will not, if she 
is well-advised, withdraw or disallow that wise alter- 
native which has practically existed all along in this 


matter, but still let surplice and vestment stand 
side by side for the option of the clergy and people. 
Nor yet again, on the other^and, strong as is the 
simpler surplice in its prescription — not, however, 
unvarying — of 300 years, as a eucharistic vestment 
in the English Church — in its purity of appearance 
and gracefulness of form — and in the associations and 
affections of this generation ; — simpler and easier as it 
is to side with the greater number, and to acquiesce 
in the less excellent way for the sake of peace : — the 
Church will not, if well-advised, yield to these con- 
siderations either. She will still leave on her statute- 
book that ancient direction concerning vestments 
which has been her primary law through the vicissi- 
tudes of 300 years ; which connects her, even in its 
abeyance, with the Apostolic Church of old, and with 
the Church universal now ; and which may, if wisely 
and charitably administered, effectively co-operate in 
bringing back to the Church of God her lost jewel — 
nowhere now to be found on earth — of full and 
thorough conformity, in doctrine and worship, with 
the Apostolic and Primitive Church. 

And as regards other ceremonies, while she expects 
not, nor desires, a rigid uniformity in minor actions, 
nor has laid down any such code for the observance 
of her ministers; she will on the one hand seek to 
realise a higher standard, in point of care and re- 
verence, than has hitherto, perhaps, prevailed among 
us : but, on the other, she will continue her 300 years' 
protest against multitudinous and operose ceremonies, 
as being full surely 4iestructive, in the long run, of 
the life of devotion. 

o 2 


I have now accomplished, though in a very im- 
perfect manner, my self-imposed task : dwelling, in all 
humility and anxiety^ on our shortcomings and ex- 
cesses, as well in the matter of Rites and Doctrine, as 
in that of Ritual. 

And if it be asked, in conclusion. What then is to 
be done ? what action does a view of the whole cir- 
cumstances prompt ? or how are we to win our way 
back, under God, to a more perfect model? my 
answer and my humble counsel would be as follows : — 

Let me first be permitted to remind the reader of 
the present aspect of our Church, such as it was pre- 
sented to view in an earlier page. Let it be remem- 
bered and taken home as an anxious and alarming 
truth, that were an Apostle, or a Christian of early 
days, to '^ pass through " the land and " behold our 
devotions," on our high day of Service, during three- 
fourths of the year, he could arrive at no other con- 
clusion, from what he saw with his eyes, than that he 
was not in a Christian land at all. For he would miss, 
Sunday after Sunday, in more than eleven thousand 
of our churches, the one badge, and symbol, and 
bond of membership in Christ, the Holy Eucharist. 
Such a one could not possibly understand our Christi- 
anity ; the land would be in his eyes an absolute deso- 
lation. And if among these thousands of altars with- 
out a sacrifice, and of Christian congregations failing to 
offer the one supremely ordained Christian worship, 
he chanced here and there to light upon a happy 
exception, how would his eyes still be grieved, and 
his heart pained at the fewness of communicants ! 
He could only conclude that Christianity had very 


recently been established here, and that the number of 
the imbaptized and catechumens was still tenfold 
that of the faithful. But there would be yet one 
other novel sight that would here and there present 
itself to him. He would perceive with astonishment 
that, in some instances, the eucharistic worship was 
offered not to "Our Father which is in Heaven," or 
to Christ, as seated with His Father on His Throne 
of Grlory ; but as contained in the Elements. But his 
astonishment would reach its height when he obsei'ved, 
further, that not much account was made, at this 
Service, of the reception of the life-giving Sacrament, 
as the crowning and supreme circumstance of the 
offering ; but that it was rather discouraged, in pro- 
portion as the Service was designed to be of a loftier 
strain, and a superior acceptableness. 

Is it too much to say that, on view of these things 
— these vast deflections on the right hand and on 
the left, in defect and in excess, from Apostolic 
ways — it would not much grieve or move such an one 
as I am supposing, whether the "vestment" in 
which the Service was offered was merely of " fine 
linen, pure and white,'* or " a vesture of gold, wrought 
about with divers colours ;" and that all other ritual 
arrangements, in like manner, would be as nothing 
in his eyes, in comparison of the truths obscured 
or imperilled, and of the errors involved, on either 

And what therefore I would earnestly desire that 
the Church of God in this land might draw forth 
from the present excitement and anxiety about ritual 
is, a faithful comparison of herself, in point of doctrine 


und practice, with the Apostolic and Primitive model. 
Tliere are greater things than these ; " The life is 
more than meat, and the body than raiment." And 
while we are anxiously discussing whether the life of 
eucharistic devotion is best fed through the eye 
or the ear, or how its outward form should be 
arrayed, it is only too sadly true, that that life 
and that body are a prey to divers diseases, and 
need medicine and restoratives, ere they are likely to 
exhibit much real vigour, nourish and clothe them as 
wo will. 

For the second time within our memory, a " vest- 
ment " or " ritual " controversy has arisen among us. 
The last time it was about " the surplice " in preach- 
ing, as against the gown ; and the " Prayer for the 
Church Militant," as against the disuse of it. This 
time it is about the more distinctive eucharistic vest- 
ments, as against the surplice ; and about a fuller ritual 
as against a scantier one. Now the last contest was 
simply a miserable one. I venture to call it so, 
1st, because, handled as it was, there was no sort of 
principle at stake in it, beyond that of assigning to 
the sermon more nearly its due position and estimate 
in the rite ; and that of adding one more prayer — a 
touching and valuable one, it is true — to the ordinary 
Office ; — and next, because it utterly misconceived 
and missed the Church's real mind, in allowing such 
a thing at all as prayers, or a service at the Altar or 
Holy Table, when there was to be no Offering and no 
Communion. To restore the Prayer for the Church 
Militant, and be content with that, was indeed " to 
keep the word of promise to her ear, and break it to 


her hopes." Only as a protest, only as a badge of 
her rejection — ay, and of Christ's rejection by the 
world — had she ever condescended to such a Lord's 
Day Service as that at all. 

What was the result and upshot, as might have 
been expected, of that contest ? In the case of some 
parishes, and almost whole dioceses, successful re- 
bellion against even the letter of the rubric ; and in 
places where the result was different, a contented 
acquiescence ever since (for the most part) in the 
victory achieved. Is it not evident that it was not 
worth achieving ? And why ? Because all the while 
the Church's real desire and aim was ignored ; she 
was not one whit nearer to the Apostolic rule, 
but only proclaimed more distinctly her departure 
from it. 

And now that another " vestment " and " ritual " 
controversy has arisen, the great anxiety, and the 
only deep anxiety, of the Church should be, that it 
too pass not over us barren of all results of value. 
It will do so, if it only leaves us with a better ascer- 
tained law as to the relative obligation of this or 
that vestment, the lawfulness of this or that mode 
of ritual. It will have been in vain, unless it brings 
up our long-standing neglect on the one hand, and 
brings hack our more novel excesses on the other, 
to the true standard of God's own providing. But 
on the other hand, if haply, while we are searching 
for a rule, we shall have found a principle, and 
begun to act upon it then the present excitement will 
have done a great work for us. 

And happily, it is by thus lifting the existing 


controversy into a liigher sphere, we shall have the 
best chance of reconciling and harmonising positions 
now ranged over against each other, and even of 
solving this ritual and vestment difficulty. For let 
us suppose, on the one side — what it is not too much 
to hope for — that the close sifting, both of doctrine 
and ritual, which such a period as this gives rise to, 
joined to the fatherly counsel of the Bishops, and 
to considerations of Christian wisdom and charity, 
should avail to remove such peculiarities of ritual as 
are plainly either indefensible or inexpedient. And 
let us suppose, on the other side — what surely 
we may no less hope for — an earnest effort now 
made by the clergy, encouraged by their bishops, 
to return to the Apostolic usage of Weekly Cele- 
bration, and in other ways to give due honour and 
observance to the Holy Eucharist. Suppose this 
done on either side : and there would at once result 
a great and essential rapprochement between those 
who now have the appearance of raising opposite 
cries, and wearing rival badges. 

Nor only so, but those badges themselves would 
lose, to a great extent, their distinctive hues. It is 
astonishing, when we come to look into the matter, 
how much the two rival camps, so to call them, 
have in common ; and how many middle terms there 
are on which they are agreed. The truth is that, as 
has appeared above, there is between the vestments 
(for example), now opposed to each other, an entire 
"solidarity" or community of interests, arising out 
of their common origin, and their close relation to each 
other. The use of the surpHce, its existence at all 


as a ministerial vestment, and its real significance, 
can only be traced in the eucharistic vestments. It 
results from removing the chasuble and expanding 
the alb. The surplice is in fact, an alb. It is an 
adaptation of the inner eucharistic vestment to the 
exigencies of the ordinary Office. It was thought 
good, when it was used as an outer garment, to give 
it that fulness and comeliness of form, for which the 
English surplice, more especially, is so justly com- 
mended. But its real value, as a memento of the 
inward purity which it typifies, can only be appre- 
hended by bearing in mind that it is properly an 
inner garment. — In like manner the stole, taken by 
itself, is a mere band of ribbon of no particular 
appropriateness. But let it symbolise, as it certainly 
was meant to do, the yoke of loving labour laid on 
the neck of the minister of Christ ; or, more exactly, 
after the Aaronic pattern, the ministerial toil of 
heart and hand for Christ's people, and the mindful 
bearing of them before God for acceptance through 
the One Sacrifice ; and we at once see that this 
simple vestment is indeed worth preserving.^ — And let 
the hood, or " amice," be no longer worn as a mere 
badge of academical degree, but as a token of the 
dedication of the powers of the head or intellect, 
and of the need of God's protection against " vain, 
perverse, and unbecoming thoughts;"* and this, too, 
acquires a fitness otherwise difficult to recognise. 
Now, if we thus owe to the full eucharistic vestments 
the interpretation of our ordinary ones, it is plain 

* Oratio sioenda ante Divinum Officium. Portifoiium Sari»b. 


that the relations between the two are of the most 
friendly character. 

The same may be said on the subject of colour. 
On the one hand, the introduction of colour into our 
vestments is only one step added to what has been 
already carried out to a great extent by all of us 
in the rest of our sacred apparatus, whether in the 
way of stained glass, altar-cloths, hangings, or even 
of books. And whereas, on the other hand, the pure 
whiteness of the surplice is not among the least of 
its attractions and sacred associations in English 
eyes ; who, it may be asked, have done more to 
extend the use of the surplice among us, than those 
who have advanced farthest in the ritual direction ? 
Who eliminated the " black gown " from the eucharistic 
rite ? Who else have flooded our choirs and aisles, 
on festal occasions especially, with the white robes 
of choristers and clergy ? Nay, for the Holy Com- 
munion itself, for the highest festivals — Christmas, 
Easter, Whitsuntide — the white chasuble is, by the 
ancient rule of England, added to the white alb. 
Surely here, again, there is a community of senti- 
ment between ritual schools thought to be opposed 
to each other. It may be added, that though the 
strict English rule, or rather its full carrying out, 
would necessitate colour — red for the most part — 
for the chief eucharistic vestment, this is not by 
any means of necessity. White, it is admitted 
on all hands, is permissible all the year round,* 

* ' Directorium Anglicanum,' p. 17: "It is perfectly unob- 
jectionable to have the sacred vestments of fair white linen, so 
long as the shape of them be correct. 


and some Eastern churches never use any other 

And do we not seem to see, in these considerations, 
joined to others alleged above, a ground for har- 
monious though diverse action among those of differing 
minds ? We have, as the first and leading fact, 
that (if the view taken above be correct) none is 
compelled in foro conscimtice, by the existing state of 
the law to which he has bound himself (viz. " what 
this Church and Realm hath received") to adopt 
the ancient vestments. This gives room for the exer- 
cise of that prudent consideration in the matter, which 
would be out of place if the law gave no alternative. 

We have next the fact that there are degrees, even 
where it is desired to return to the ancient system. 
The fomi is, as it should seem, the great matter, both 
as regards symbolism, and as making a distinct 
difference between the ordinary and the eucharistic 
dress : the material and colour are secondary. Hence 
arises a simple and unobtrusive mode of resuming 
the old distinction, without risk of provoking serious 
objection : eucharistic vestments of fine linen being 
not very strikingly different in appearance from the 
surplice ; more especially if, as some hold, surplices in 
place of tunics be allowable for the assistant clergy. 

And if many still entertain a distinct preference 
for the surplice, none can say that, after 300 years 
of recognition, it is other than a seemly and honour- 
able vestment, as an ad interim, even for the Holy 
Communion. In one case only can it be said 
to be a dishonour, and a badge of servitude under 
the world's rejection, — viz., whenever there is no 


celebration. It can then only be compared to the 
linen garment in which the Jewish High Priest was 
clothed of old on the one day of Atonement : — the 
one day in the year on which Israel mourned over sus- 
pended privileges and a desolated Altar.* It is when 
the surplice ministers to so dreary a Service as that : — 
when, as a fit accompaniment to it, the position of 
the wearer, at the north end of the Holy Table, 
indicates at least a forgetfulness of his priestly 
functions : — it is then only that it can be otherwise 
than honourable among us. 

Nor in like manner, as has appeared above from 
the venerable, because primitive, and apostolic descent 
of the eucharistic vestments, can any tinge of super- 
stition or unsound doctrine be properly ascribed to 
them, unless it be through the fault of any in whose 
persons they minister to eucharistic doctrines and 
practices, which were unknown to Apostolic and 
primitive days. 

And there is yet one other hopeful feature in the 
present aspect of things as regards Eitual. It is that, 
taking the long tract of years, the desire for an im- 
provement, and for our acting up to the theory and 
ideal of our Church in this matter, has begun, as it 
ought, with the Episcopate : so that all present en- 
deavours in that direction, (whether in all respects 
wisely or faithfully made I have given some reasons 
for doubting), are intended at least to be a carrying 
out of their fatherly counsels and admonitions. It is 
now a quarter of a century since two of the ablest 
and most influential Prelates that ever sat on an 

* Leviticus xvi. 4. 


episcopal throne in England, the late Bishop of 
London and the present Bishop of Exeter, invited 
the Clergy of their Dioceses to carry out the rubrics, 
with especial reference to a particular rubric bearing 
upon the dress of the Clergy in one part of their 
ministrations. It was found impossible at the time, 
owing to a strong feeling on the part of the laity 
(which time has for the most part removed), to carry 
out those injunctions. But their tones have vibrated 
ever since in the hearts of the English Clergy. It 
w^as felt at the time, as it must ever be felt, that our 
aim, at least, should be to carry out the Church's best 
and deepest mind, and not to acquiesce for gene- 
rations in a low standard, merely because it is the 
existing one. And it is my humble belief that, had 
the present attempt to return, in fuller measure, to her 
deep and wise rules for eucharistic celebration been 
made with more of moderation and considerateness, 
it would have carried with it, (and may carry with it 
yet, if these conditions be fulfilled), the assent of our 
Right Reverend Fathers* in God on the one hand, 
and of our congregations on the other. So managed, 
the present might "well become a grand and har- 
monious movement of Bishops, Clergy, and people 
towards a noble result, — the setting up, namely, in 
its due place, of the highest ordinance of the Gospel : 
with variations, indeed, in many respects, as to the 
mode and fashion of administration ; but with one 
happy feature at any rate, — a nearer approximation, 
both in Rites and Ritual, to Apostolic Doctrine and 

* See the Bishop of Oxford's opinion, delivei"ed in Convocation. 




Having had occasion to receive from the Bishop of Exeter an 
expression of his views on the subjects discussed in pp. 31-37, 
I asked and obtained permission to embody it in an Appendix, as 
his latest and most matured judgment on the matter to which it 

The Bishop says : — " I regard the Grace of the Eucharist as 
the Communion of the Death and Sufferings of our Lord. St. Paul 
(1 Cor. xi. 24), in his statement of the Eevelation made to him 
from Christ, sitting at the Eight Hand of God the Father, seems 
to me distinctly to affirm this Truth. 

" His words to kAw/acvov (they should be rendered " w'hich is 
heing broken "), in their literal and plain signification, show that 
the Lord's Death is one continuous Fact, which lasts and will last 
till he comes and lays down His Mediatorial Kingdom, subjecting 
it, and Himself, its King, to the Father. 

"I hold that it' is, in short, a Sacrament of that continuous 
Act of our Lord's Suffering once for us on the Cross — the punish- 
ment appointed for sin during the days of His Mediation — that 
our Lord is, in some ineffable manner, present in the Sacrament 
of His Sufferings, thus communicated to us, by which He pays 
for us the penalty imposed on our guilt. In such a Presence I 
do not recognise anything material or local, though I most thank- 
fully rejoice in it as real." 

Next as to the point dwelt upon in pp. 66-70, as seeming to 
prescribe, and to render important, the position of the Celebi^ant 
at the Holy Communion: viz. that our Lord's having "given" or 
" presented " in a mystery, through the Elements, the Sacrifice 
of His Body and Blood, is the whole secret of their consecration 
to he that which they represent : and that we, too, must " give," 
" present," or " offer," the Elements with the same intention, if 
w^e would effectually plead the Sacrifice, and receive the Sacra- 
ment : — 


The Bishop of Exeter, still commenting on 1 Cor. xi. 24, com- 
pared with St. Luke xxii. 19, speaks as follows : — 

" The use of the present participle in these cases, seems to me 
to show, that the words ought to bo rendered 'which is being 
given,' and ' which is being broken,' and must be referred to the 
Act of Crucifixion. The words, thus understood, seem to mo 
to illustrate and to be illustrated by Gal. ii. 20. ' I am crucified 
with Christ [lit., I have been, and continue to be, crucified with 
Him — oT;v€OTavp(o/xat], and the life which I now live, I live by 
the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for 
wie.' [Comp. ' This is my Body which is being given for you.' 

"And again. Gal. iii. 1, 'Before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath 
been evidently set forth crucified among you.' I know not 
where it is said or implied that we are crucified together with 
Christ, unless in thus feeding on, and receiving, and partaking of 
the Dying of Christ, and the showing forth of His Death, as oft 
as we eat and drink the Body being broken and the Blood being 

Again the Bishop, as regards the Koman Doctrines of Tran- 
substantiation and Concomitancy, quotes, as in entire accordance 
with his own, the following sefltiments of the Eev. C. Smith, 
Rector of Newton, Suffolk, and author of the valuable work, ' An 
Enquiiy into Catholick Tniths, hidden under certain Articles 
of the Creed of the Church of Rome :' — " This is a great mystery ; 
but we must not forget that it is the Lord ; and, instead of pre- 
tending to explain how it is our Lord feeds us on this most real 
Sacrifice, and how He can give us, now he is gloiified, His own 
Body and Blood sepai-ately, let us rejoice that he nourishes and 
cherishes His purchased Church by the ' still unconsumed sacri- 
fice (as St. Chrysostom calls it) of Himself.' How mean and 
impertinent are Transubstantiation and Concomitancy, and the 
Impanation and Invination of Rome and her followers ! " 




The following well-known opinion was delivered by the Bishop 
of Exeter many years since. As such it is simply recorded here, 
not as involving its author in the present controversy on this 

" The rubric, at the commencement of ' The Order for Morning 
and Evening Prayer,' says ' That such ai-naments of the church, and 
of the ministers thereof, at all times of their ministration, shall he re- 
tained, and he in use, as were in this Church of England hy the 
authority of Parliament, in the second year of the reign of King 
Edward VL' — in other words, a white alb plain, with a vestment 
or cope. These were forbidden in King Edward VI.'s Second 
Book. This was a triumph of the party most opposed to the 
Church of Eome, and most anxious to carry reformation to the 
very farthest point. But their triumph was brief— within a few 
months Mary restored Popery ; and when the accession of Queen 
Elizabeth brought back the Eeformation, she, and the Convocation, 
and the Parliament, deliberately rejected the simpler direction of 
Edward's Second Book, and revived the ornaments of the First. 
This decision was followed again by the Crown, Convocation, 
and Parliament, at the restoration of Charles II., wlieu the ex- 
isting Act of Uniformity established the Book of Common Pi-ayer, 
with its rubrics, in the form in which they now stand. 

Strange indeed is it that in the very teeth of this plain and 
evident intention of the Eeformers and Revisers of the Prayer- 
book, there should be English Churchmen and Clergy, so forget- 
ful of the duty they owe the Church, that they are trying with 
all their power to provoke Parliament to do an unjust and uncon- 
stitutional act, by attempting to set aside this law of the Church, 
which has the sanction of the three Estates of the Eealm : and can 
only be altered by their concurrence. 

"From this statement it will be seen, that the surplice may 


be objected to with some reason ; l)ut then it must be because 
the law reqiiires ' the alb, and the vestment, or the cope.' 

" Why have these been disused ? Because the parishioners — 
that is, the churchwardens, who represent the parishioners — 
have neglected their duty to provide them ; for such is the duty 
of the parishioners by the plain and express canon law of 
England (Gibson 200). True, it would be a very costly duty, 
and for that reason most probably, churchwardens have neglected 
it, and archdeacons have connived at the neglect. I have no 
wish that it should be otherwise. But, be this as it may, if the 
churchwardens of Helston shall perform this duty, at the charge 
of the parish, providing an alb, a vestment, and a cope, as they 
might in strictness be required to do (Gibson, 201), I shall enjoin 
the minister, he he who he may, to use them. But until these orna- 
ments ai"e provided by the parishioners, it is the duty of the 
minister to use the garment actually provided by them for him, 
which is the surplice. The parishioners never provide a gown, 
nor, if they did, would he have a right to wear it in any pai-t of 
his ministrations. For the gown is nowhere mentioned nor 
alluded to in any of the rubrics. Neither is it included, as the 
alb, the cope, and three surplices expressly are, among ' the furni- 
ture and ornaments proper for Divine Service,' to be provided by 
the parishioners of every parish. 

"The 58th canon of 1604 (which however cannot control the 
Act of Uniformity of 16G2) enjoins that 'every minister, saying 
the public prayers, or ministering the sacraments or other rites 
of the Church, shall wear a decent and comely surplice with 
sleeves, &c., to be provided at the charge of the parish.' For 
the things required for the common pi-ayer of the parish were 
and are to be provided by the parish. If a gown were required, 
it would have to be provided by the parish." 




My dear Archdeacon, 

With regard to the question which you ask respecting 
the mode of performing Divine Service, it appears to me evident 
that it never entered into the heads of those who undertook, in 
the 16th century, the great work of remodelling, translating, 
simplifying, congregationalising (to use a barbarous word) the 
old Sarum Offices, and recasting them into the abbreviated form 
of our Matins and Evensong, to interfere with the universally 
received method of reciting those Offices. It is quite certain that 
they never dreamed of so great an innovation in immemorial usage. 
Their object was merely to simplify the old Eitual music. It 
had become so tedious and ornate, that it was impossible for the 
people to join in their part ; and the priest's part was rendered 
unintelligible by means of the wearisome "neumas" and flourishes, 
which had little by little crept in, to the utter ruin of the staid 
solemnity of the ancient Plain Song. So the great business was 
to make the p-iest's part devout and intelligible, and the people's 
simple and congregational. 

The first part of our Prayer-book which came out was the 
Litany. But it came out with its beautiful and simple Eitual 
Mvsic. It was thus originally intended to be sung ; but to music 
so plain and straightforward that a child may join in it. (It is 
the same melody as is still generally used for the Litany.) Ordy 
the melody was published at first ; no harmony : therefore it 
would be sung in unison. 

But a month afterwards a harmonised edition was published 
for the benefit of those choirs which were more skilled in 
music. It was set in five-part harmony, according to the notes 
used in the " Kynge's Chapel." Tallis's more elaborate version 
was published twenty years afterwards. 


But this English Litany was hannonised over and over again 
in different ways, by different composers ; the very variety of 
Betting incidentally proving how very general its musical use 
had become. 

It was in the following year (1545) that Cranmer wrote hie 
well-known letter to Henry respecting the " Processions " and 
Litany Services, which it was in contemplation to set forth in 
English for festival days ; requesting that " some devout and 
solemn note be made thereto," similar to that of the published 
Litany : " that it may the better excitate and stir the hearts of 
all men to devotion and godliness :" the Archbishop adding that, 
in his opinion, " the song made thereto should not bo full of 
notes, but as near as may be for every syllable a note." 

Four years after came out Edward's First Praj-er-book, and 
almost simultaneously with it (at least within the year) the 
musical notation of the book, published "cum Privilegio," and 
edited by John Merbecke. 

There seems no doubt in the world that this book was 
edited under Cranmer's supervision ; and was intended as a 
quasi-authoritative interpretation of the musical rubrics. 

The old ritual words, " legore," " dicere," " cantare," continue 
in the refoimed, just as of old in the unreformed rubrics. They 
had a definite meaning in the Latin Service Books. Tliere is 
not a vestige of a hint that they are to have any other than their 
old meaning in the vernacular and remodelled Offices. They are 
often loosely used as almost convertible expressions. " Dicere " 
rather expresses the simpler ; " cantare," the more ornate mode 
of musical reading.' The word "legere" simply denoted "reci- 
tation from a book," without any reference to the particular mode 
of the recitation. Applied to the Gospel in the old rubrics, it 
would simply express that the Gospel was to be here "^recited," 
according to the accustomed "Cantus Evangelii." The same 
with other parts of the service. As "legero"did not signify n<>n- 
musical recitation in the old rubrics, so neither does it in the 
revised. In fact, in two or three instances, it is iised avowedly 
as synonymous with " say or sing," — e. g. in the cases both of 
the " Venite " and the Athanasian Creed. These of course are 
definitely ordered to be "said" or "sung," — i.e. "said" on 
the monotone, or " sung " to the regular chant. 

But yet in two iiibrics which merely deal with the position 
where, on certain particular occasions, they are to be recited (the 

II 2 


rubrics Twt adverting to the mode of their recitation), the general 
term "read" is applied to them — "The Venite shall be read 

Now, as the ruhrical directions respecting the performance of 
the Services are virtually the same in the old and the new 
OfiSce, so is the music itself as given in Merbecke. His book 
is nothing more than an adaptation, in a very simplified form, of 
the old Latin Eitual Song to our English Service. Cranmer's 
Rule is rigidly followed — " as near as may be, for every syllable a 

The Priest's part throughout is very little inflected. Even 
the ' Sursum Corda ' and ' Proper Preface ' in the Communion 
Offices are plain monotone ; as well (of course) as all the 

But the Introit, Offertory Sentences, Post Communion, 
Pater-noster, Sanctus, Agnus-Dei, Credo, ' Gloria in Excelsis,' 
in most of which the people would be expected to join, are all 
inflected, though the music is plain and simple. 

That there was not even the remotest intention of doing 
away with the immemorial practice of the Church of God (alike 
in Jewish as in Christian times), of employing some mode of 
solemn Musical Recitation for the saying of the Divine Offices, 
is further evident by the rubric relating to the Lessons. Of 
course, if, in any part of the Services, the ordinary colloquial 
tone of voice should be employed, it plainly ought to be in 
the Lessons. 

But not even here was such an innovation contemplated. 

The ancient " Capitula " were much inflected. The Cantus 
Evangelii and Epistolarum admitted likewise of a gi*eat and 
wearisome licence of inflection. Now it would have been 
absurd to inflect a long English lesson. The Rubric, therefore, 
ordered that the Lessons should be said to Mninflected song. 

" In such places where they do sing, then shall the Lesson 
be sung in a plain tune after the manner of distinct reading " 
{i.e. recitation) ; in other words, the " Lessons, Epistle, and 
Gospel," were to be all alike said in monotone. 

You are aware, of course, that it was not till the last 
Revision in 1662 that this rubric was removed. The Divines 
at the Savoy Conference at fii-st objected, and, in their published 
answer, stated that the reasons urged by the Puritan jjarty for 
its removal were groundless. However, the rubric disappeared ; 


and, I think, happily and providentially. For certainly (except 
the reader chances to have a very beautiful voice) it would be 
painful to hear a Lesson — perhaps a chapter of fifty or sixty 
verses — said all in monotone. Moreover, while in solemn ad- 
dresses (whether of Prayer or Praise to God), the solemn musical 
Recitation seems most fitting and reverential, in lections or 
addresses delivered primarily for the edification of man, a freer 
mode of utterance appears desirable and rational. 

Merbecke's book (I should have added) does not contain 
the music for the Litany — as that had been already published — 
nor for the whole Psalter, It simply gives a few specimens of 
adaptation of the old Chants to English Psalms or Canticles, 
and leaves it to individual choirs to adapt and select for them- 

The intention of the English Church to retain a musical service 
is further confirmed by the often quoted injunction of Queen 
Elizabeth, 1559 (c, 49), which gives licence for an anthem. 

It first orders that " there shall be a modest and distinct song" 
(i.e. the ordinary plain song) " used in all parts of the Common 
Prayers of the Church ;" while, for the comfort of such as delight 
in music, it permits, at the beginning or end of the sei-vices, 
"a hymn or song in the best melody and music that can be 
devised, having respect to the sense of the words." 

The utmost that can be said of our rubrics is, that in cases of 
musical incapacity, or where no choir can be got, where priest 
or people cannot perform their part properly, then they may 
perform it improperly. But, unquestionably, whenever the 
services can be correctly performed, when the priest can mono- 
tone his part, and the people sing theirs, then the services ought 
to be so performed. It is a matter of simple obedience to 
Church rule. The single word " Evensong" is a standing protest 
against the dull conversational sorA'ices of modem times. 

In reference to the popular objection, that the miisical 
rubrics refer merely to cathedrals and collegiate churches, Lord 
Stowell observed, in his judgment in the case of Hutchins v. 
Denziloe (see Crijpps, p. 644, 3rd ed.), that if this he the 
meaning of the rubrics and canons which refer to this subject, 
then " they are strangely worded, and of disputable meaning," 
for they express nothing of the kind. I'he rubrics, he says, rule 
that certain portions of the service " be sung or said by the 
minister axiA people ; not by the prebendaries, canons, and a band 


of regular choristers, as in a cathedral; but plainly referring 
to the services of a parish church." 

It is very difficult to say when the use of the monotone 
generally dropped and gave place to our modem careless 
unecclesiastical polytone. The change, I suppose, took place 
gradually; first in one district, then in another. The Church's 
mode of reciting her Offices would involve more care and skill 
than the clergy much cared to give. So, little by little, — first in 
one locality, then in another, — they fell into the modern, loose, 
irregular way of talking or pronouncing instead of "saying and 

Yours ever, 

John B. Dykes. 

St. Oswald's Vicakage, Dlkham, 
January 20, 1866. 

tC'HUOS : W. CLOWES and SIiNIS, 1)IM; aiUtEl, fcTAMtuBl) biithtr, 

By the same Author. 

concerning the Order for Morning and Evening Prayer, and 
for Administration of the Holy Communion, in the English 
Church. Two vols., cloth, £1 (^s. Or the vols, may be had 

2.— PLAIN DIRECTIONS for understanding the Order for 
Morning and Evening Prayer, 3c?. 

3.— SUNDAY. A Poem, 4s. Masters.